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Night Of Thunder causes Guineas shock

It had been billed as a straight battle between the top class pair of Kingman and Australia but the first Classic of the season ended with a huge shock as the Richard Hannon trained Night Of Thunder out-battled the fancied pair to take the Qipco 2000 Guineas at whopping odds of 40/1.

The son of Dubawi, the supposed 2nd string of the Hannon yard behind Champion 2yo Toormore, was unbeaten in two starts as a juvenile but was thought to be up against it here, especially having trailed in behind the 6/4 favourite Kingman in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury last month.

Kingman was all the rage after that victory but he did not have the best of starts here, slightly missing the break and finding himself having to tuck in behind the far side group after the field had split after the first furlong.  Spanish raider Noozhoh Canarias was at the head of that far side group and he, along with near side leader Toormore, set out a very generous gallop, with the rest of the field happy enough to sit in behind.

Market leaders Kingman and Australia began to get going at the same time on opposite sides of the track but Night Of Thunder tracked every move from the former and eventually switched to the middle of the track as the field passed the furlong pole.  It was here that the main drama began to unfold, with Night Of Thunder under veteran Kieren Fallon, deciding to veer badly to his left, eventually just holding on to score by 1/2 length from the battling Kingman, with Australia a further head back in 3rd.

“We always thought a lot of him and he’s done it well,” an emotional Hannon said afterwards. “He gets a mile, no problem, and he settled better today.

“He pulled a little bit in the Greenham and he’s turned the form around with Kingman.”


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