Hannon second string can end run of 2000 Guineas near misses

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Punters have to look back to 1990 to find the last occasion that Richard Hannon saddled the winner of the 2000 Guineas, when Tirol upset the unbeaten, dual Group 1-winning heavy favourite Machiavellian.

However, luck has certainly not been on his side of late in the opening Classic of the season, as he has trained seven horses to fill top-five placings across the last four renewals.

Unperturbed, Hannon has another five possibles among the current raft of entries for 2014, including Europe’s champion two-year-old of 2013 in Toormore.

Dawn Approach became the third horse in the last decade to complete the National Stakes and 2000 Guineas double 12 months ago and Toormore will be the next to chance his arm.

The fact that he is officially rated 122 from his juvenile campaign is a big tick in his column, which is higher than previous Hannon Guineas inmates Toronado, Trumpet Major, Dick Turpin and Canford Cliffs.

Toormore is 6/1 to win the 2000 Guineas and a victory under a penalty in the Craven Stakes will only confirm his stature as a leading contender.

But it is worth noting that in two of the last three years that Hannon has gone multi-pronged for the Guineas, his first string has not been his first home.

And there is another interesting contender lurking in the shadows this year that has won on both career starts when showing an immediate blistering turn of foot.

Night Of Thunder couldn’t have been any more impressive as a juvenile and can currently be backed at 8/1 to win the 2000 Guineas.

This price may be best taken now, as a victory in the Greenham Stakes next en route to Newmarket will probably see this price halved.

Whereas Hannon has struggled in the Guineas, he has been responsible for four of the last seven Greenham winners.

Meanwhile, a victory here would answer ground and stamina queries about Night Of Thunder, in that he is so far unraced on quicker going than soft and over a distance further than 6f.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.