Smooth Fannaan is heading for bigger and better things

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Bigger and better prizes 
look to be well within the grasp of Fannaan following his smooth win in the AR Legal Collections Houghton Conditions Stakes, writes Graham Clark.

While only having two runners to beat, the Haydock maiden winner dispatched both with the minimum of fuss at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on Wednesday in the Class Two seven-furlong contest, under Paul Hanagan.

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 and was relaxed while in front. He will be better on better ground.

“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 a trip to France to contest the Criterium de Saint Cloud next month is likely to be on the cards following his win in the Zetland Conditions Stakes.

“Crafty Choice 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 Criterium de 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.

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 leave 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.