Toronado: joint-favourite in places for the Qipco 2,000 GuineasPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Dawn clinging onto Guineas favouritism
DAWN APPROACH's position of indisputable favourite for Saturday's Qipco 2,000 Guineas was under threat on Friday night as the momentum behind Toronado hit another level.
Toronado's price for the Guineas has tumbled since his supreme return in the Novae Bloodstock Insurance Craven Stakes over the Guineas course and distance last month.
Having been 7-1 before his win, the Richard Hannon-train ed runner was 7-4 joint-favourite for the Guineas with Coral and BetVictor on Saturday morning as a result of his performance and big talk coming from Hannon, his assistant Richard jnr and jockey Richard Hughes.
Hannon has saddled three winners of the 2,000 Guineas in Mon Fils, Don't Forget Me and Tirol and is confident of adding a fourth win to that tally with the Sheikh Joaan-owned Toronado.
"Toronado did his last proper piece of work last Sunday and goes to Newmarket in the form of his life," Hannon said on Friday. "We always felt that he was more one for the Derby than the Guineas, but this spring he has been showing much more speed in the mornings than he did last year, so, while Dawn Approach is obviously a very good horse, we feel that we have a solid chance of beating him."
The prices of the two protagonists were also closing on Betfair with Toronado hovering around 3.05 and Dawn Approach 2.94 at 7.45am on Saturday.
Jim Bolger: pleased with progressPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Dawn Approach has been favourite for the first Classic of the year since ending his unbeaten juvenile season with victory in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket and as far as his trainer Jim Bolger is concerned his runner is at the top of his game.
He said: "He's well-balanced and is a more straightforward, relaxed horse than his sire who could be quite headstong. You can switch this fellow off. On what he shows us at home, I rate him on a par with the best horses I've trained."
The ground at Newmarket was changed to good to firm (from good to firm., good in places) on Saturday morning.