Stormy Antarctic pulls clear of Foundation to win by 3½ lengths
PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Report: Newmarket, Thursday
Novae Bloodstock Insurance Craven Stakes (Group 3) 1m, 3yo colts geldings
WITH a backdrop of thunder and lightning on the Rowley Mile, Foundation’s Classic prospects suffered a blow after the 4-6 favourite was turned over by Stormy Antarctic, who announced himself as a contender with an electric display.
All eyes were fixed on the John Gosden-trained Foundation as connections went in search of pointers to help determine future targets in this Qipco 2,000 Guineas trial, but he had no answer to the 9-2 winner’s finishing burst.
Trained by Ed Walker and ridden with the utmost confidence by George Baker, Stormy Antarctic, a progressive two-year-old last season, was cut to 12-1 (from 33) for the Guineas by Paddy Power, while Coral go 20-1 from the same price.
Different plans for first two
The prospect of the winner and runner-up reopposing in the Guineas was ruled out after Gosden decided to go down the Investec Derby route, with Foundation heading for the Dante Stakes.
“It’s a long time since I watched a race like that and I only knew they were running when they hit the three-furlong pole,” the trainer said.
“We’ve no excuses and always said he’s a mile and a quarter horse. The winner had the better turn of foot today. We’ll have a look at the Dante with him next.”
Walker, on the other hand, pointed the way to the Guineas, believing similar conditions on April 30 would be a major benefit to Stormy Antarctic.
“This was supposed to be our guide to where we go next,” he said. “God willing, if everything is alright we have to come back in 16 days time – and hope it rains.
“He has some very good soft ground form but I’ve never actually felt he’s a soft ground horse. He copes with it better than others. He’s a very good-moving horse and I would be intrigued to see how good he is on better ground.”
How the race was won
The field was led along by Tony Curtis, with Frankie Dettori settling Foundation just off the pace as the heavens opened on ground officially described as good to soft but changed immediately afterwards to soft.
Dettori tracked the front-runner’s stablemate Steel Of Madrid into the race as Baker held up Stormy Antarctic right out the back.
Coming out of the Dip, Tony Curtis still held sway as Foundation was asked to quicken but as he did Baker had the move covered on Stormy Antarctic, who loomed up before skipping clear to run out a decisive three-and-a-half length victor.
Foundation was pushed out to a high of 20-1 in the Derby betting, while ante-post favourite US Army Ranger was clipped into 4-1 (from 9-2) by Ladbrokes and bet365.
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