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Craven target for 2000 Guineas hope, Fencing

John Gosden has revealed that he intends to run his live Group 1 Qipco 2000 Guineas contender, Fencing, in the Group 3 Novae Bloodstock Insurance Craven Stakes at Newmarket on April 19, just over two weeks before the big race itself is scheduled to take place back on the Rowley Mile, on May 5, writes Elliot Slater.
Fencing, generally on offer at around 20/1 in 2000 Guineas Betting, proved himself a smart performer last term, following a very promising debut effort when third to the decent Entifaadha in a 20-runner Newmarket maiden, in July. The following month he proved two-and-a-half-lengths too good for Peter Chapple-Hyam’s, Telwaar, and was rated value for even more by some good judges.
It was significant that the shrewd Gosden then stepped the son of Street Cry straight up to Group 1 company. He certainly justified his handler’s high opinion of him in coming home third to the current Betfair Epsom Derby favourite, Camelot, in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster, taking a strong grip under Jimmy Fortune in the early stages but still able to challenge approaching the final furlong. Unable to quicken with the potentially top class winner, the George Strawbridge-owned chestnut was far from disgraced. He looks the type to do better with another winter behind him.
Ideally suited by decent ground but unlikely to be at his best on a quick surface, Fencing is reported to be moving well on the HQ gallops. Hopes are high that he will put up a bold show in the Craven Stakes and book himself a ticket for the 2000 Guineas. Also quoted for the Investec Derby, Gosden has hinted that he feels 10 furlongs rather than 12 will be the ideal trip for his charge and that, at the moment, connections are favouring a bid for the French Derby over the shorter trip, rather than a tilt at the showcase Epsom contest.

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