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Fox Champion lands German 2,000 Guineas to give King Power Classic success

Fox Champion and Oisin Murphy bravely held off a plethora of British-trained runners to give King Power Racing victory in the German 2,000 Guineas at Cologne on Sunday, a first Classic success for the rising ownership force.

British yards filled the five places, but the Richard Hannon-trained runner, scoring a fourth consecutive victory, made every yard in the Group 2 over a mile, holding off the challenge of Mark Johnston's Arctic Sound by a neck, with the Tom Dascombe-trained favourite Great Scot a further neck behind in third. Johnston's Marie's Diamond was fourth, with Gay Kelleway's Global Spectrum fifth.

The victory was a fifth success at Group 2 level for King Power Racing and Hannon, who sent out King Of Change to finish runner-up to Magna Grecia in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, said: "He did it the hard way and he has improved with every run. It's great for King Power to have a Classic winner and it's a great lift for everyone in the team too.

"He's a very talented horse and I still don't think we have quite gotten to the bottom of him. He doesn't win his races impressively, he just does what is required. He was in front for a long way and did well to fight it out – I think it was a very strong race."

Royal Ascot could be the next port of call for the son of Kodiac, who is a top-priced 16-1 chance for the St James's Palace Stakes on June 18.

Hannon added: "I think he'll go to Royal Ascot now, I'm not sure which race but we'll look at going over seven [Jersey Stakes] or a mile [St James's Palace Stakes]."

Fozzy Stack's Wargrave, the sole Irish challenger, was sixth and the Charlie Hills-trained Pogo finished seventh, meaning the first seven places went to British- and Irish-trained runners.

Globetrotting Stormy scores in Italy

Ed Walker described Stormy Antarctic as a "legend" after he enjoyed another victory in Europe in the Premio Presidente della Repubblica at Capannelle, on the outskirts of Rome.

Under Frankie Dettori he was the class act in the Group 2 contest, making the running and scooting clear of his rivals for an easy four-length victory.

Walker said: "We're thrilled, he's a legend and it's great to see him win again. He's been a real star for us, I wasn't there, but I know he won quite easily in the end – when he gets soft ground he's seriously good. 

"He's so consistent and is still producing his best at six which is remarkable."

The six-year-old has now recorded Group-race wins in Britain, France, Germany and Italy, and Walker is hoping he can land an elusive first Group 1 prize.

He added: "It's a case of having him in all the big races and keeping an eye on the weather, it would be great to see him do something similar to Here Comes When [winner of the Sussex Stakes] and just keep going and finally winning one on bottomless ground.

"His best chance of getting a Group 1 would be going back to Munich for the race he was second to Benbatl in. He'll be in all the big races and hopefully things can fall right for him!"

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