Newmarket Guineas Festival 2005
Newmarket Guineas Meeting 2004
Haafhd roars to Guineas glory
landed the 2004 UltimateBet.com 2000 Guineas for Barry Hills and son
Richard showing a dazzling burst of speed on Newmarket's Rowley Mile.
Haafhd hit the front two furlongs out and the 11-2 shot galloped on strongly
to beat Snow Ridge by a length and three-quarters, with Azamour a further
length away in third.
One Cool Cat, the 15-8 favourite, finished tailed off and was reported
afterwards to have an irregular heart beat.
The race was run at a furious gallop, with One Cool Cat's pacemaker
Tumblebrutus leading from Golden Sahara and Barbajuan, with French challenger
Supporters of the Aidan O'Brien-trained One Cool Cat knew their fate
some way out as Jamie Spencer's mount failed to make any progress
from the rear of the field when urged to.
Craven Stakes scorer Haafhd, on the other hand, had been close behind
the leaders for much of the way and settled the issue with a blistering
turn of foot.
Snow Ridge ran on strongly but could not get in a blow at the winner,
while Azamour finished very well.
He's a very good horse. They went so quick, and he wanted to go after
them. I didn't really want him to do too much early, but it's
his style," the winning jockey told reporters.
Once he lengthened they would have had to be good to come and get him."
Hills senior said: "He is a genuine good horse. Riding him like
that was always the plan. I couldn't understand why they spread out
like that, all over the place, but it didn't affect us.
He has got a very laid-back attitude, which makes him easy to train and
to ride, and that was important today.
Where he goes next will be up to Sheikh Hamdan, who knows this family
very well and takes a keen interest in all the big decisions.
If we did stick at a mile, something like the St James's Palace would
be an obvious race."
Frankie Dettori, rider of Snow Ridge, was delighted with his horse.
He said: "It was a great effort. He ran a super race - the other
horse was better than me over a mile.
We'll go to Epsom for the Derby now. We've always said he would
Snow Ridge's trainer Saeed bin Suroor said of the Godolphin colt: "He
ran a big race and I'm pleased with the result.
He was beaten by a better horse over a mile. I said before that he needed
a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half."
William Hill make Snow Ridge 6-1 (from 11-1) for the Derby, while third
home Azamour was cut to 14-1 from 25-1.
His owner the Aga Khan said: "The ground was a bit softer than he
would have liked but he finished very well indeed.
We may have to run him over a mile or 10 furlongs before Epsom. He'll
have to have one more race in any case.
He didn't break today, so he was at a disadvantage from the start,
but he made up a lot of ground."
Dermot Weld, trainer of Grey Swallow, said: "He ran a good race
to finish fourth in a Classic. Hopefully, he'll be back for the Irish
He's a good, consistent colt and he tried very hard. The ground was
a little bit slower than he likes.
I always said he needed another 10 days, and he'll be a lot better
horse in another couple of weeks."