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Awtaad blows Guineas rivals away in style  

     Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (Group 1), 1m 3yo

AWTAAD bridged a 40-year gap to provide trainer Kevin Prendergast with a second Irish 2,000 Guineas success, four decades after Northern Treasures won the same Classic.

The vibes had been positive all week for the son of Cape Cross and, despite making just his fifth career start and stepping up from a Listed success on his previous run, ran out a convincing winner from Galileo Gold, who was bidding for a Guineas double after success at Newmarket three weeks earlier.

The victory was a popular one for the Curragh`s longest-serving trainer, in his 83rd year, and despite the runner-up not enjoying the cleanest of conveyances, there can be little doubt the best horse on the day finished in front.

Gold has to settle for silver

From stall one, there was always a chance Galileo Gold would need some luck in running and at one stage it looked like Frankie Dettori might find it difficult to deliver his run.

However, a narrow gap did come along the rail and in plenty of time, and while Dettori had little choice when he could make his move, Galileo Gold never travelled with the same ease he had shown when dominating his rivals at Newmarket.

In contrast, Chris Hayes was enjoying the ride of his life as Awtaad motored like a Ferrari and, sensing Dettori`s traffic problems, he made an early and decisive move for Classic glory.

The boss gave me no instructions, except not to get there too soon, which I did, but I saw Frankie was in trouble on the rail and I wanted to make it as hard as possible for him," said Hayes, who punched the air in delight as he rocketed to the finishing line. "He`s the best horse I`ve ever ridden."

Admitting confidence had been sky high, the winning rider continued: "I didn`t sleep for a week as this horse has been flying. We`ve always held him in such high regard."

The margin of victory was two and a half lengths at the line, with a further four and a quarter lengths back to Blue De Vega in third.

`As good a horse as I`ve had`

Describing the winner as the best he has trained, a delighted Prendergast said: "He was forced to go a bit early today and Chris kicked when Frankie was in a bit of trouble, but he won well.

"He`s definitely as good a horse as I`ve had, and I had Ardross. He was a good horse, but this one`s the best I`ve had in a long time."

Looking to the future, he added: "Where he goes next I don`t know. He`s in both Derbys and we`ll see what the owner wants to do."


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