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Night Of Thunder wins English 2000 Guineas
07:29 AEST Sun May 4 2014

Night Of Thunder sprang a massive shock in the English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday, the 40-1 outsider upsetting hot favourite Kingman and the much-vaunted Australia.

Ridden by Kieren Fallon, Night Of Thunder was a first classic winner for trainer Richard Hannon junior in his first season since taking over from his father.

Fallon's mount veered towards the stands rail in the closing stages but still had enough left in the tank to deny 6-4 favourite Kingman by half a length and 5-2 second favourite Australia (a head further back).

Fallon, claiming his first British Classic since Alexandrova's 2006 Oaks victory, said: "I thought he'd given it away, but he's a good horse and hopefully he can continue."

The 2000 Guineas, the first of the five British classics, was touted as a high level renewal with five unbeaten colts in the 14-runner field.

One of those was Kingman who was aiming to emulate the mighty Frankel by adding this to a warm up win in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury.

Jockey James Doyle elected to join the group of runners racing down the far rail, while Australia was among those on the stands side.

With a furlong to go, Kingman, who had narrowly edged ahead from Noozhoh Canarias, the first ever Spanish contender in a British classic, and Australia vied for the lead, with the yawning expanse of Newmarket heath separating the pair.

But then Night of Thunder took flight, weaving a path to the line to turn the tables on Kingman, who had finished in front of him in the Greenham last time out.

Hannon said: "We always thought a lot of him and he's done it well. He gets a mile, no problem, and he settled better today.

"He pulled a little bit in the Greenham and he's turned the form around with Kingman."

Australia's trainer Aidan O'Brien was thrilled with his much-vaunted colt's run, with a view to returning to England next month for the Epsom Derby which was won by Australia's sire, Galileo in 2001.

"I was delighted with the run," said O'Brien.

"Obviously I'd have preferred for the field to stay together and we maybe had to get racing a little earlier than we would have liked to, but he ran a great race.

"He's still a baby and he should stay the Derby trip. On pedigree, you'd say he was a Derby horse, but he was working like a Guineas horse."

Bookmakers were impressed with one firm cutting his price to 7-4 favourite from 9-4 for the Blue Riband race.

For Fallon this was a fifth 2000 Guineas in his storied but colourful career which has produced plenty of high points and quite a few low ones too.

The former six-time champion jockey in Britain has three Epsom Derbys to his name and two wins in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe but also an 18-month ban for testing positive for a metabolite of cocaine


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