By Simon Jackson.
Richard Hannon has described the feeling of winning the QIPCO 2000 Guineas with 40-1 shot Night Of Thunder at Newmarket on Saturday as ‘the stuff of dreams.’
Night Of Thunder’s victory under Kieren Fallon was the first season trainer’s first win in a Classic, having taken over the licence from his championship winning father at the start of the season.
The winner raced in the midfield of the group on the far side as the field split into two groups. He improved to challenge inside the final furlong and led close to the line, despite hanging sharply to the left in the last few strides.
“It’s the stuff of dreams. As a schoolboy you read the Racing Post and watch Channel4 and you dream of days like this – you think you might get there one day, and you might not. But we’ve done it,” Hannon said after the half-length victory over Kingman, the 6-4 favourite.
“I’m delighted. I thought he’d run very well and we were a bit disappointed after Newbury, but it’s a tribute to him that he has come back and turned the form around with Kingman.
“He’s a very honest horse and all of our horses do need a trial generally – Sky Lantern was the same, she got beaten in a trial and came back here and won the 1000 Guineas.
“It is a shame Dad couldn’t be here but he left this morning for Goodwood – but I think he’s clever. I think he has a feeling when something is going to happen. He did it with me with Sky Lantern as well. He’ll be delighted,” continued Hannon, who was also represented by Shifting Power (fourth) and Toormore (seventh).
“It’s amazing – we’ve got the same team at home and the same outfit, but we’re delighted.
“I can’t say winning the Guineas was in the air and we wouldn’t have been too worried if it didn’t happen, but they are three very good horses. But it makes a big difference to everyone at home and it’s nice to have a 2000 Guineas winner.”
Fallon added: “I thought I was going to go and win easily but when I went up half a length, he stopped with me. He was still good enough to win and it was a great performance.”
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