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Two Thousand Guineas 1st May 2004

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Newmarket Guineas Meeting 2004

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Haafhd roars to Guineas glory
HaafhdHaafhd landed the 2004 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 Whipper fourth.

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 stay."

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 2000 Guineas.

" 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."

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