Hannon's Hoping to Raise Gold Standard
Byline: MARCUS TOWNEND
DUBAWI GOLD, runnerup to Frankel in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, is 6-4 favourite for Saturday's Irish equivalent.
The Richard Hughes-ridden colt will attempt to give trainer Richard Hannon his fourth win in The Curragh Classic after Don't Forget Me (1987), Tirol (1990) and Canford Cliffs last year.
Dubawi Gold, supplemented to the race for 32,500 euros, faces a maximum of eight rivals after it emerged the Michael Dods-trained Ashva had been declared in error and Aidan O'Brien's Zoffany was ruled out after suffering a bout of colic.
Dubawi Gold is also chasing a first Classic for owner Andrew Tinkler, CEO of haulage giant the Stobart Group, who enjoyed his biggest win in the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster in March with Sweet Lightning. That gelding, it emerged yesterday, is now out for the season after picking up an injury.
Two victories in seven races as a twoyear-old did not mark Dubawi Gold out as a Classic colt but, switched from Dods, to Richard Hannon, he won his first two starts back on Lingfield's all-weather circuit before getting closest to the brilliant Frankel with his six-length second.
Tim Jones, racing manager to Tinkler, said: 'Dubawi Gold matured physically and has grown up mentally over the winter. …