sport

Leon hopes to be Guineas King

Noozhoh Canarias could become the first Spanish runner in a British Classic.

Trainer Enrique Leon wants to run the colt, who has Group One-placed form and just one defeat in four career starts, in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 3.

An eased-down three length winner of a Listed race in Bordeaux, the son of Caradak posted a career-best effort on his final start of 2013 when second to Karakontie in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp in October.

Thirty-three-year-old Leon spent two years working for Newmarket trainer James Fanshawe and rode the five-times Group One winner, Soviet Song, when she was being prepared for the 2003 renewal of the 1000 Guineas, in which she finished fourth.

He said: "The prospect of becoming the first Spanish trainer to have a Guineas runner is a huge feeling and I am very excited about the opportunity to go back to Newmarket.

"It would be a dream. It is something that I have always dreamed of and now having the chance to make it real is unbelievable. As for winning, I'm trying not to think about it and just focus on the daily work without putting pressure on myself.

"I believe that Noozhoh Canarias was very unlucky at Longchamp as he stumbled with a furlong to run and then got struck on the head by another jockey's whip. He also did not like the (soft) ground at all.

"We plan to run him in Madrid on March 30 and afterwards we will decide between the English and French Guineas depending upon where the ground is better.

"In previous years the better ground has always been in England, so our number one option is to go to Newmarket. We are coming with big hopes."