Group race company beckons for Fannaan after impressing at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile

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The step up to Group race level races now looks to be a formality for Fannaan after he made it two wins from as many starts in the AR Legal Collections Houghton Conditions Stakes at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile yesterday.

While only having two runners to beat, including Hawkesbury, runner up to subsequent Dubai Dewhurst Stakes winner Belardo on his previous outing, the Haydock maiden winner dispatched both with the minimum of fuss in the Class Two seven-furlong contest.

Such was the manner of victory by the son of Speightstown, who is trained in town by John Gosden, betting firm Paddy Power quoted him at 25/1 for next year’s the QIPCO 2000 Guineas.

“He is a very good horse,” said Gosden.

“He came in early to me from Dubai and was meant to be an Ascot two-year old but he rubbed a foot boarding a plane.

“He had his ears pricked today and was relaxed while in front. He will be better on better ground. The only disappointment was the horse in behind (Hawkesbury) struck into him.

“We will see how he is in the spring but he is a miler and you would look at the Classic trial races next year.”

While Fannaan will have to wait until next year to have a shot at Group race company that is not the case for Crafty Choice.

Winning trainer Richard Hannon was quick to point out that a trip to France to contest Criterium de Saint Cloud next month is likely to be on the cards following his win in the Zetland Conditions Stakes.

“He has continued to improve as the season has gone on and he has improved the further we have gone with him,” said Hannon.

“He is in the Group One at Saint-Cloud. He is good form, will get the trip and handle the soft ground.”

Roger Charlton sent several runners up to the track, and the Beckhampton based trainer was not to leave empty handed thanks to a debut victory from Ooty Hill in the Class Four seven-furlong maiden.

The win completed the second leg of a near 11/1 double for Atzeni who scored aboard Pamona in the opening Class Five fillies’ maiden.

“I am really pleased with Ooty Hill as you can see he is obviously a big horse but his work has always been encouraging so it was not a particular surprise,” said Charlton.

“Andrea (Atzeni) said he was very professional and relaxed and that he has got a good head.”

Both divisions of the Class Five seven-furlong nursery went the way of Newmarket trainers with the Ed Walker trained Dark Kingdom following up his maiden win at Chepstow in the opening division, while the second heat went the way of the Martyn Meade trained Great Park.

Fellow town trainer Charlie Appleby saw Rare Rhythm leaving behind his debut effort when getting the better of new comer Wheat Sheaf in the mile Class Four maiden.

In the concluding Class Two fillies’ handicap Fruit Pastille completed a hat-trick of wins when making virtually all under Jimmy Fortune.