04/17/2008 12:00AM

Twice Over wins Craven


Twice Over is Juddmonte Farm's newest classic hope. A son of Observatory trained by Henry Cecil, Twice Over outdueled Stonerside Stable's favored Raven's Pass to land the Group 3, $98,000 Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday and is now third choice for the 2000 Guineas behind New Approach and Raven's Pass himself.

In prevailing by a short head, Twice Over completed the mile in 1:38.54 on good ground.

Wednesday's listed European Free Handicap at Newmarket suggests that Saturday's Group 3 Greenham Stakes at Newbury, a seven-furlong prep for the 2000 Guineas, will be a battle between Confront and Beacon Lodge. Those two both defeated the winner of the Free Handicap, Stimulation, as 2-year-olds. The Michael Stoute-trained Confront did it in a seven-furlong Ascot allowance, Beacon Lodge in the seven-furlong Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes over the Greenham course and distance. Sir Gerry, winner of the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes, must bounce back from a poor eighth-place finish in the Oct. 5 Group 1 Middle Park Stakes.

Annie Skates, runner-up in Monmouth Park's Epitome Stakes last October, returns to action in the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes, but she will be meeting much tougher in this seven-furlong 1000 Guineas trial. The choice is Muthabara, who won a Sandown listed race last summer.