• Racing/
  • Toormore Guineas Dream Alive

Novae Bloodstock Insurance Craven Stakes (Group 3) 1m

  • (3yo, 1m, Class 1, 6 runners)
  • Winner £36,862 2nd £13,975 3rd £6,994 4th £3,484 5th £1,748 6th £878
  • Going: Good, Good to Firm in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 1m 35.42s
  • Off time: 16:05:48
  • Last Updated: April 17 2014, 17:26 BST

Europe's champion two-year-old Toormore proved he remains the consummate professional at three after getting his season off to a solid start in the Novae Bloodstock Insurance Craven Stakes at Newmarket.

Toormore: Remains easy to back for the Guineas
Toormore: Remains easy to back for the Guineas

The Qipco 2000 Guineas dream is still alive for the Middleham Park Racing Syndicate, even if a two-length defeat of The Grey Gatsby was not quite a margin to have connections of the hot Classic favourite Kingman running for the hills.

With his close market rival Be Ready nursed back a bitterly disappointing last, Toormore (evens favourite) led for the majority of the mile event and Ryan Moore was always able to keep the small field at arm's length.

Trainer Richard Hannon said: "He idled a bit and had a lot of daylight but every time Ryan gave him a kick he went on.

"He's not a flashy horse and he was never going to come here and win by six lengths even if he could.

"He is going to give the owners a lot of pleasure, has come here and won his trial and goes to the Guineas with a very good chance.

"He had a 3lb penalty today as well. He wasn't as impressive as Kingman (in the Greenham), but he's not that sort of horse."

  • Spirit Of Xian (right) swoops past Al Ghuwariyah to claim the opener at Newmarket
  • The Richard Hannon-trained filly responded well to Pat Dobbs' urgings to get up close home
  • Connections of Basen gather ahead of the Wood Ditton...
  • Before Basem (left) delivers in good style under Silvestre de Sousa
  • Charlie Appleby speaks with Mickael Barzalona before the big sales contest...
  • And their contender Sudden Wonder (left) battles to victory
  • Hamza (left) made all to enhance his excellent course record at Newmarket
  • Toormore was kept up to his work to win the Craven Stakes, with market rival Be Ready disappointing
  • Adam Kirby was at his best at Mull Of Killough repeated last year's win in the Earl Of Sefton Stakes
  • Hadaatha took the Rossdales Maiden Fillies' Stakes under Paul Hanagan
  • Cloudscape brought the Craven meeting to a close with an impressive win under William Buick
The best images from the second day of Newmarket's Craven meeting

Although Hannon insisted no more could have been expected from the still unbeaten colt, Sky Bet were not impressed with the winner and eased him out to 6/1 (from 11/2) for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas.

Ante-post favourite Kingman is now their 6/5 market leader (from 11/8).

"Although Toormore remains unbeaten, Kingman fans are unlikely to lose any sleep after that performance and we've shortened the favourite again on the back of that race," said Sky Bet's Michael Shinners.

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