Crockford considers if Toronado and Sky Lantern can provide Richard Hannon & Richard Hughes with a Classic double in the 2013 1000 & 2000 Guineas
If Toronado can sweep past his rivals on Saturday he will provide Richard Hughes with his first British Classic winner. His father-in-law Hannon has won the race before but a win with the unbeaten Toronado will be particularly sweet given the family connections. The colt was impressive in his pillar to post victory in the Craven Stakes and must hold a leading chance on that performance.
However, to be victorious in the 205th 2000 Guineas he will have to get the better of the champion two year old Dawn Approach. Bolger is bullish about his colt’s chances, but in Crockford’s opinion it is the other unbeaten Irish foe Mars who should give Toronado the most to think about. Mars is one of the most highly touted horses to come from Ballydoyle in years and it would not be beyond O’Brien to have him ready for success in his first outing of the season. His gallop at the Curragh was eye-catching and so was the way he quicken away from his rivals at Dundalk. On Saturday Hannon will also be represented by Van Der Neer who showed a brilliant turn of foot to win at Lingfield. Hughes and connections have recently warned punters not to underestimate this 20/1 shot who they believe has live place chances.
Sky Lantern was second in her seasonal debut on the Rowley Mile. The winner of the Nell Gwyn Hot Snap flashed past the Hannon filly and was immediately installed as the favourite for the 1000 Guineas. If Sky Lantern can reverse the placings on Sunday she will provide both Hannon and Hughes with their first winner in the Classic. Hughes is convinced that the grey filly will come on from her run and favours Sky Lantern over her stablemate and Fred Darling winner Maureen. Connections feel that Maureen will be competitive and should not be ruled out of making the frame. However, Crockford predicts that Hannon and Hughes will have to wait at least another year to seal victory in the race. Hot Snap was so green her trial and is certain to improve again to provide a probable seventh 1000 Guineas for her trainer Sir Henry Cecil.
Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes look likely to be folied in their attempt at the Classic double by O’Brien and Cecil
(Featured Photograph – Richard Hughes and Richard Hannon at Goodwood by Stuart Rice)