Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Irish Raider Haatef Can Sink the Locals; Veteran Trainer Prendergast Has the Right Type to Land the 2,000 Guineas. by Will Hayler

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Irish Raider Haatef Can Sink the Locals; Veteran Trainer Prendergast Has the Right Type to Land the 2,000 Guineas. by Will Hayler

Article excerpt

NOT a man who believes in bringing horses across to England without good reason, it is 28 years since veteran trainer Kevin Prendergast last had a runner in the 2,000 Guineas.

But with ante-post favourite Teofilo ruled out of the race through injury only yesterday, Prendergast's HAATEF has an outstanding chance of landing a fifth victory in six years for the Irish in tomorrow's Stan Jamessponsored Classic at Newmarket.

Haatef finished behind Teofilo when fourth in a vintage renewal of the Dewhurst Stakes last season and must reverse placings with Strategic Prince who he finished just behind that day.

But that was only the second run of Haatef 's life and with the unusually bullish vibes emanating from Prendergast's stable suggesting that he has improved for the experience, there is no way he deserves to be more than twice the price of favourite Adagio.

Not that Adagio isn't a serious contender.

He impressed when winning the Craven at Newmarket last month, showing a neat turn of foot.

He may have finished behind Strategic Prince and Haatef in the Dewhurst, but he reared in the stalls and lost plenty of ground at the start and could turn that form around if the Craven has brought him on.

But is he really a Guineas type? I'm not so sure and wouldn't back him at odds of around 3-1.

If you're already on ante-post at

NEWMARKET JACKPOT RUNNERS AND double-figure prices then you've got a cracking bet, but I can see him reaching his peak later in the season, and over 10 furlongs.

Haatef, on the other hand, looks a speedier type and even this mile might just be the limit of his stamina.

can sink HAYLER'S SELECTIONS 1 Haatef 2 Adagio 3 Duke Of Marmalade AND RIDERS (C4: 2.10, 2.45, 3.25, Prendergast, who trained Nebbiolo to win this race back in 1977, decided some time ago there was nothing to be gained from giving Haatef a prep race and that all he needed was "proper fast ground".

After a warm and sunny week, he's got it.

Also likely to play its part in the race is the draw.

While recent winners of the race have come from both sides of the track, it is interesting to note that of the 20 races run over this trip and track since 2000 which featured 24 or sink the

3.25, 4.00 & Racing UK) more runners, only three went to horses drawn in single-figures.

Time may show that Adagio's low draw in three is no disadvantage, but Haatef 's stall position in 17 is also no bad break and if the field splits into two groups it could even work out in his favour with plenty of pace on his side of the track.

Who would have thought that we would ever see an Aidan O'Brientrained first-string for this race available at 28-1? Duke Of Marmalade is worth a small saver at those odds.

HAYLER'S SELECTIONS 1 Haatef 2 Adagio 3 Duke of Marmalade

NOT a man who believes in bringing horses across to England without good reason, it is 28 years since veteran trainer Kevin Prendergast last had a runner in the 2,000 Guineas. …

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