Toronado: could only manage fourth in the 2,000 Guineas on SaturdayPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Vanquished Toronado 'unlikely' for Derby
TORONADO is "unlikely" to realise the Hannons' dream of winning the Investec Derby next month according to assistant trainer Richard jnr with Royal Ascot being earmarked as the destination for his next run after disappointing in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas on Saturday.
There was also doubt emerging about the participation of one-time Derby favourite Kingsbarns in the race after he was removed from the betting for the race by a number of bookmakers.
Confirmed for Epsom though is Dawn Approach. Trainer Jim Bolger said: "Dawn Approach has come out of the 2,000 Guineas in excellent shape and I couldn't be more pleased with him.
"I am now looking forward to running him in the Investec Derby at Epsom."
Toronado was strongly supported to take the opening Classic of the season at Newmarket on the back of a storming comeback run in the Novae Bloodstock Insurance Craven Stakes and bullish home reports for the Hannons and jockey Richard Hughes.
However, in the race itself Toronado failed to pick up after travelling smoothly into contention and finished "legless tired" in fourth according to Hannon jnr.
Toronado had long been considered a Derby horse by his connections but was shunted out to as big as 16-1 for the race after Newmarket and has now had his very participation in the race doubted.
Richard Hannon jnr: believes Toronado is capable of much betterPICTURE: Getty Images
"There was clearly something amiss," Hannon jnr said on Monday. "Plans are on hold for him now. The Derby is unlikely and we'll probably have to wait for Royal Ascot. Whether that's the Jersey or St James's Palace Stakes have to see.
"He's capable of better than that and I know that on his work at home. The way he finished the Craven he should definitely have stayed the [Guineas] trip better than that and we'll have to find out why.
"His work here has been absolutely top class. We thought he was going to run a big race and in the last 100 yards he was legless tired and add another 50 yards on at the end of the race he'd have been nearly last."
Hannon jnr was able to issue a positive bulletin on the stable's other 2,000 Guineas runner Van Der Neer, who excelled himself when finishing third.
"We were delighted with Van Der Neer," Hannon jnr told At The Races. "He goes to Ireland [for the Irish 2,000 Guineas] and I think he'll want a mile and a quarter to be at his best."
Van Der Neer finished second to Kingsbarns in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last autumn, the last time Kingsbarns raced.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained runner was forced to miss the Guineas with an injury and he was taken out of the betting for the Derby by several bookmakers and was also available at 40 on Betfair for the race on Monday.
Do not miss Pricewise's ante-post assessment of the Investec Derby - only in Tuesday's Racing Post