Horses To Follow » Awtaad


Noted in HTF Private after he won the Tetrarch Stakes, Awtaad was brilliant in winning the Irish 2000 Guineas on Saturday. Usually when a horse wins a Classic, his cover is blown, the betting angle is blown, but there is a chance that Awtaad will still be a little under-rated, and that, therefore, he may still be a horse who is worth following.

Kevin Prendergast’s horse oozed class through his race. He travelled easily on the outside, just behind the leaders, always with racing room. Chris Hayes was always going to be able to ask him for his effort when he wanted to. He did so just after they passed the two-furlong pole, and the response was impressive. He quickly went nicely clear and, while Galileo Gold made ground towards him on the far side inside the final furlong, it never looked like he was going to get to him. There was no point in the race at which you thought that Awtaad wouldn’t win, and he came home two and a half lengths clear of Galileo Gold, with another four lengths back to the third horse Blue De Vega.

Air Force Blue did disappoint in the race, but the form is still solid. Galileo Gold is the Guineas winner from Newmarket, the first two were clear of the progressive and highly talented Blue De Vega, and the winner left the impression that he was winning with something in hand. The next step for Awtaad is to prove now that he can be top class on better ground. Of course, we will not know about that until he tries it, all four of his wins have been on easy ground. But he ran a big race on his racecourse debut on good ground, and his trainer said after the Tetrarch Stakes that he would not be at all worried about better ground for the Irish Guineas.

He is only second favourite behind The Gurkha now for the St James’s Palace Stakes, and he is only a half a point shorter than Galileo Gold in some lists. That suggests that he may still be an under-rated horse.

21st May 2016