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Craven Stakes - 17th April, 2014

Richard Hannon has often used the Craven Stakes to unleash his leading 2000 Guineas hope and now with the stable under the stewardship of the son of the legendary handler they will continue that trend and Toormore will look to use this contest as a stepping stone to the one-mile Classic in a few weeks.

Unbeaten in his three starts as a juvenile, Toormore propelled into the Classic picture when landing the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh last season and he will be aiming to kick off this season with a win and if he can reproduce those two-year-old efforts then is going to be very tough to beat.

Saeed Bin Suroor's Be Ready built on a promising debut by landing a Listed event at Doncaster and whilst he doesn't have the form that Toormore has he has the potential to improve and should put up a strong challenge to the Hannon-trained raider.

Hannon will not only saddle the hot jolly, but he will also send Anjaal to Newmarket who was a winner of the Group Two July Stakes, but he was beaten in the Dewhurst Stakes and will need to show that he is a potential Group One contender in this event.

A six-strong field will assemble for this race that has produced some top notch winners and Kevin Ryan will hope The Grey Gatsby will improve as this season progresses, whilst the pairing of Patentar and Postponed add great depth to an event that will see the Flat season continue to rank up a notch.

Latest Betting for 2014 Craven Stakes

4/6 Toormore

11/4 Be Ready

12/1 Anjaal

14/1 The Grey Gatsby

16/1 Patentar

16/1 Postponed

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Craven Stakes History

The Craven Stakes is a  Group Three race run at Newmarket's Craven Meeting over one mile of three-year-old colts and geldings.

Established in 1878, the race is regarded as the first trial for the 2000 Guineas and throughout the race's illustrious history a plethora of runners have used this contest as a springboard to Classic glory the following month.

In 1986, Guy Harwood's Dancing Brave stormed to Craven victory before returning to Newmarket to secure victory in the 2000 Guineas.  The superstar colt then notched up a whole host of Group successes including the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park and the coveted Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe crown at Longchamp the same season to round off the season in fine style.

Another champion three-year-old colt was the 1994 winner King's Theatre who was imperious when winning this race before securing victory in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

More recently, Barry Hills's Haafhd used victory in the Craven as the catalyst for Classic glory in 2004 and he was the last horse to record the coveted double, but 2008 winner Twice Over, who progressed into a Group One-wining horse and 2009 winner, Delegator, add tremendous depth to a contest that attracts a classy field year-in-year-out.

Sir Michael Stoute has a tremendous record in the race and during his phenomenonal career, he has bagged victory in the race eight times with Shadeed handing him his first success way back in 1985.

Recent Winners of Craven Stakes

  • 2000 - Umistim
  • 2001 - King's Ironbridge
  • 2002 - King of Happiness
  • 2003 - Hurricane Alan
  • 2004 - Haafhd
  • 2005 - Democratic Deficit
  • 2006 - Killybegs
  • 2007 - Adagio
  • 2008 - Twice Over
  • 2009 - Delegator
  • 2010 - Elusive Pimpernel
  • 2011 - Native Khan
  • 2012 - Trumpet Major
  • 2013 - Toronado