Craven hero Stormy Antarctic bidding for Classic glory

Stormy Antarctic: an impressive winner at the track last month

Stormy Antarctic: an impressive winner at the track earlier this month

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

NOT since 2004 has a winner of the Craven Stakes gone on to claim the 2,000 Guineas, but the market suggests Stormy Antarctic has a good chance of emulating Haafhd.

Trained by Ed Walker, Stormy Antarctic leapt to prominence for the Guineas when easily winning the Craven by three and a half lengths.

That performance came on slower ground, but Walker thinks the colt will be just as effective on a quicker surface.

“I’ve got not doubt he’ll handle good ground,” Walker said. “I think it will be on the slow side of good come raceday, which I think will suit everybody. He’s a very good-moving horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him on better ground.”

Air Force Blue may be odds-on, but Walker thinks the race is more open than the betting suggests, and added: “I couldn’t have asked for Stormy Antarctic to have come out of the Craven any better. He looks fantastic and has tightened up for the race.

“He did a good bit of work last Sunday morning and we’re really excited. Air Force Blue has been beaten before so there’s nothing to say he can’t be beaten again.”

Stormy Antarctic, a general 6-1 shot on Saturday morning, provides rider George Baker with a live chance of gaining his first Classic winner – with the 33-year-old coming closest to an inaugural Classic success when second aboard Rising Cross in the 2006 Oaks.

Baker said: “It’s nice to have a quality ride in a British Classic and it is there in the form book that Stormy Antarctic can be competitive.

“The Craven win was a very good performance from a horse who should definitely have benefited from the run – that was the impressive thing.”

Read Julian Muscat’s exclusive interview with trainer Ed Walker in today’s Racing Post, also available on iPad


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