Saeed Suhail's King of Happiness overtook pacesetter Della Francesca with a quarter-mile to run, then drew away to defeat that rival by two lengths in Thursday's one-mile Craven Stakes (Eng-III) at Newmarket. On good to firm ground, the 9-4 favorite completed the Sagitta Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) prep in 1:37.39 under Kieren Fallon.
"I sent him home early because we knew he'd stay," said Fallon. "Actually he went a bit sooner than I wanted really, he moved very quickly, but it was a nice gallop. He is a very good horse; he's shown that in his work at home. Let's hope we can get him back in the same condition as today for the Guineas and keep him right."
Following the race, British bookmaker Ladbrokes dropped the odds on King of Happiness to 3/1 (from 9-1) in early 2,000 Guineas wagering. Hawk Wing remained the favorite at 6-4. The bookmaker is no longer accepting wagers on Johannesburg (formerly 2-1) for the Guineas.
American-bred Della Francesca (by Danzig) finished second under Michael Kinane, with Sweet Band (by Dixieland Band third, and Compton Dragon (by Woodman) fourth of six.
The Michael Stoute-trained son of Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) winner Spinning World improved his career mark to two wins from as many starts in making a successful sophomore debut. The chestnut colt was bred in Kentucky from the French group III winning Nijinsky II mare Mystery Rays. King of Happiness sold for $322,036 at the 2000 Tattersalls September yearling sale. Flaxman Holdings bred the winner.