04/17/2012 3:28PM

England: Most Improved preps for 2000 Guineas in Craven Stakes at Newmarket

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Thirteen 3-year-olds passed the final declarations stage and are expected to contest the Group 3 Craven Stakes on Thursday at Newmarket in England.

The Craven, contested over a straight-course mile on the Rowley Mile Course, is a major prep race for the English 2000 Guineas, and among its expected runners is Most Improved, who is the general second choice in ante-post Guineas wagering. Trained by Brian Meehan, Most Improved, a Lawman colt, will be making the first start of his 3-year-old season. He raced three times last year at 2 – all at Newmarket – finishing second to the solid colt Kinglet on debut, winning a maiden race, and concluding his campaign with a third-place finish in the prestigious Dewhurst Stakes. Kieren Fallon has the mount.

Trumpet Major finished fifth behind Most Improved last fall in the Dewhurst, and with eight starts at age 2, he appears far more exposed than most of the Craven Starters, the bulk of whom are mere maiden winners. Crius beat the good 2-year-old Farraaj last September in the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes and might prove a factor in his 3-year-old bow.

Thursday’s Newmarket card also features another Group 3 race, the Earl of Sefton Stakes, which is headed by the veteran Juddmonte Farms campaigner Twive Over.