04/13/2016 5:19PM

Foundation set for 3-year-old debut in Craven Stakes


Foundation, who is as low as 12-1 in antepost betting for the English 2000 Guineas next month and a general second choice for the Epsom Derby in June, makes his first start at age 3 Thursday at Newmarket in the Group 3 Craven Stakes.

Trained by John Gosden for Highclere Thoroughbreds, Foundation, a son of Zoffany, will have Frankie Dettori on his back when he meets five rivals in the Craven, a straight-course mile often used by talented sophomores whose connections want a race before the classic season begins. The heavy favorite for the Guineas, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Air Force Blue, will make his season debut in the race, as is often the case with high-class O’Brien-trained 3-year-olds.

Foundation’s connections will be hoping for better luck than they found in the colt’s last start, a third-place finish as the odds-on favorite in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy Stakes last October at Doncaster. There, Dettori poked and prodded for more than a quarter-mile but could find no seam for Foundation, who was buried behind a wall of horses until it was too late. Finally clear, he ran on decently for third while suffering the only loss in a four-start 2-year-old campaign. Barring more trouble, redemption is widely expected in the Craven.

Stormy Antarctic, trained by Ed Walker, finished a close second in the Group 1 Gran Criterium last fall in France, beaten a head in his group stakes debut by Johannes Vermeer, who wound up second in the Racing Post Trophy. O’Brien starts Shogun, a one-time winner who last was seen finishing 10th at Keeneland in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Very Talented ended his 2-year-old campaign on a high note for Godolphin and trainer Saeed bin Suroor but will need to have progressed substantially over the winter to threaten Foundation.

Post time for the Craven is 11:30 a.m. Eastern.

The Grey Gatsby could wrap career in BC Turf

The Grey Gatsby, a multiple Group 1 winner in 2014 but winless in six start last year, is expected to launch his 5-year-old campaign May 22 in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and could end it – as well as his racing career – in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita, trainer Kevin Ryan said in published reports this week.

The Grey Gatsby had three seconds, a third, and a fourth while racing against monsters like Golden Horn and Solow throughout his 2015 campaign. He’s likely to find less resistance in top-level races this year, and Ryan is taking a more patient path this season, having bypassed the Dubai Turf, a race in which The Grey Gatsby finished second last season.

Jack Hobbs nearly set for 2015 debut

Jack Hobbs, who won the Irish Derby, was second in the Epsom Derby, and could emerge as one of the stronger middle-distance horses in Europe this year, had a racecourse gallop at Newmarket this week and is set to make his 4-year-old debut April 30 in the Jockey Club Stakes, according to trainer John Gosden.