NEWMARKET, England // Prominent UAE businessman Saeed Manana secured his first English Classic victory as an owner yesterday when Night Of Thunder caused a huge upset in the 2,000 Guineas.
The much-vaunted Kingman looked to have flown in the final 400 metres under James Doyle but, despite veering across half the track in the final stages, jockey Kieren Fallon straightened out Night Of Thunder approaching the line to win by half a length. Aidan O’Brien’s Australia was third.
Manana was not at the Rowley Mile yesterday and Bruce Raymond, his racing manager, was on hand to talk him through each stage of the race by mobile phone.
“I’ve never heard him be so excited, he couldn’t stop talking,” Raymond said.
Fallon is the most successful rider out of the current generation of jockeys in the first Classic of the European turf season, and Night Of Thunder added to his haul for a total of five wins in the 1,600m event.
The Irishman credited the fact that he has been riding out for Saeed bin Suroor for the past few months as the key to his return to the big time.
“I started riding out for Godolphin in Dubai and it has really picked up since I returned to Newmarket,” the jockey said. “It has helped me get my confidence back enormously.”
Night Of Thunder has several options for his next run including travelling to the Curragh to contest the Irish equivalent on May 24, a race for which he would need to be supplemented and in which he could meet Kingman again.
“We’ll have to talk to Bruce but I’d imagine it will be either the Irish Guineas or the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot,” said the winning trainer Richard Hannon.
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