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Dundonnell set for Toronado re-match

17 Apr 2013

The first major UK trial for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas takes place at Newmarket tomorrow, with the Roger Charlton-trained Dundonnell taking on a pair of high class Richard Hannon contenders and one of Godolphin's best three-year-old colts.

Dundonnell at Santa Anita last October where he finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Image courtesy of

Toronado and Dundonnell, leading fancies for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday 4th May, will renew rivalry over the Guineas course and distance tomorrow (Thursday) in the Group 3 Novae Bloodstock Insurance Craven Stakes at 4.05pm.

They were separated by just half a length when they met in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last September.

On that occasion the Richard Hannon-trained Toronado just mastered the Roger Charlton-trained Dundonnell at level weights, but Toronado must carry a 3lb penalty tomorrow.

James Doyle, Dundonnell’s jockey, said: “I sat on him last Saturday and was delighted.

“He was highly strung last year, but has really matured between two and three. He has physically filled out.

“Obviously it is a tough race. Toronado had the run of the race last time when he beat me, but now carries a 3lb penalty, so I am hopeful.

“Dundonnell is a good mover and the ground drying out will be in our favour. Quick ground would really suit.”

Toronado’s stablemate, Havana Gold, and the Godolphin-owned colt, Tawhid, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, complete the four runner line-up.

Both have high class form to their names, with Havana Gold having won the Group 3 Somerville Tattersall Stakes on the Rowley Mile last September and Tawhid having run away with the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury in October.

These are not the only QIPCO 2000 Guineas possibles in action during the eight-race card. Ghurair, who defeated Havana Gold by a head in the £500,000 Tattersalls Two-Year-Old Trophy on the Rowley Mile last October, will be looking to double up in the £200,000 Tattersalls Three-Year-Old Trophy over ten furlongs at 2.55pm. Whether he will drop back in trip to the Guineas mile after tomorrow’s race remains to be seen.

Elsewhere on the card, last year’s Group 2 Dante Stakes winner, Bonfire, will look to get his season back on track in the Group 3 Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Earl of Sefton Stakes at 4.40pm.

He started second favourite for the Investec Derby, but could only finish a remote sixth behind Camelot, followed by another remote sixth behind Nathaniel in the Coral-Eclipse.

The day’s other big race is the Group 3 Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes, in which Hawkeyethenoo, winner of the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood last August and runner-up in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint at Ascot in October, will make his seasonal debut.

The first race is at 1.45pm and admission costs £27 for the Premier Enclosure and £17 for Grandstand & Paddock.