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Racing silks of Hamdan Al Maktoum.svg
Racing silks of Hamdan Al Maktoum
DamAl Bahathri
DamsireBlushing Groom
CountryGreat Britain
BreederShadwell Stud
OwnerHamdan Al Maktoum
TrainerBarry Hills
Record9: 5-0-2
Major wins
Craven Stakes (2004)
2000 Guineas Stakes (2004)
Champion Stakes (2004)
Last updated on 22 June 2007

Haafhd (foaled 18 February 2001) is a retired British Thoroughbred racehorse and active stallion, best known for winning the 2000 Guineas Stakes and Champion Stakes in 2004.


Haafhd, a bright chestnut colt with a white star, was bred by his owner's Shadwell Stud. Both his parents had been successful racehorses for Hamdan Al Maktoum; his sire is the Dewhurst Stakes winner Alhaarth, whilst his dam Al Bahathri won the Irish 1,000 Guineas.[1] He is a half-brother to the Challenge Stakes winner Munir and the Coronation Stakes runner-up Hasbah.[2] The colt, whose name is derived from an Arabic word meaning "protector" [3] was sent into training with Barry Hills at Lambourn, and was ridden in all his races by Richard Hills.

Racing career[edit]

2003: two-year-old season[edit]

Haafhd began his racing career with a win in a maiden race at Newmarket in August 2003, and showed himself to be a colt of Group race potential with an "impressive"[4] five length win in the Listed Washington Singer Stakes two weeks later. He was made odds-on favourite for the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in September, but could finish only third behind Lucky Story.[5] On his final appearance as a juvenile, he finished third in Dewhurst Stakes, behind Milk It Mick, a horse he had already defeated twice, and Three Valleys.[6]

In the International Classification of two-year-olds, published in January 2004, Haafhd was allotted a figure of 115, rating him the tenth best colt of the year, six pounds below the Champion Bago.[7]

2004: three-year-old season[edit]

On his three-year-old debut Haafhd ran out a five length winner over Three Valleys in the Craven Stakes,[8] confirming himself as a leading contender for the 2000 Guineas Stakes over the same course and distance sixteen days later. The Guardian's correspondent commented that "it is a long time... since a Craven was won in such a decisive fashion".[9] In the classic, Haafhd moved up to take the lead two furlongs out and, despite drifting right, won by one and three-quarter lengths from Snow Ridge, Azamour, Grey Swallow and Whipper.[10] After the race, Barry Hills ruled out the possibility of a Derby challenge whilst comparing Haafhd favourably to his 1979 2000 Guineas winner Tap On Wood. He also complimented the horse's temperament, calling him "a trainer's dream, so laid-back, with a great attitude to life".[3]

These two excellent performances were followed by two disappointing efforts. In the St. James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, he took the lead in the straight, but faded into fourth behind Azamour.[11] A month later he made little impact in the Sussex Stakes, again fading in the closing stages to finish ninth of the eleven runners behind Soviet Song.[12]

His final start saw him return to his best form. Sent off a relatively unconsidered 12-1 shot in the Champion Stakes he moved up to take the lead a furlong out and won by two and a half lengths from the filly Chorist, with Azamour back in third and good horses such as Refuse to Bend, Norse Dancer, Doyen and Lucky Story amongst the also-rans.[13] Barry Hills was visibly moved by the performance and called Haafhd "the best miler I have trained".[14]

Four days after the Champion Stakes win, it was announced that Haafhd would be retired to stand at his owner's stud. The decision was announced by Hamdan Al Maktoum's racing manager Angus Gold who explained that although the owner would have liked to have kept the colt in training, he had "decided he was a very important cog in his breeding operation.".[15]

Race record[edit]

Date Race Dist (f) Course Class Prize (£K) Odds Runners Placing Margin Time Jockey Trainer
1 August 2003 Hugo & the Huguenotes Maiden Stakes 6 Newmarket July M 4 5/4 10 1 1 1:15.84 Richard Hills Barry Hills
17 September 2003 Washington Singer Stakes 7 Newbury L 14 9/4 8 1 5 1:23.04 Richard Hills Barry Hills
12 September 2003 Champagne Stakes 7 Doncaster 3 79 10/11 6 3 2.25 1:27.92 Richard Hills Barry Hills
18 October 2003 Dewhurst 7 Newmarket Rowley 1 142 7/1 12 3 1.5 1:25.22 Richard Hills Barry Hills
15 April 2004 Craven Stakes 8 Newmarket Rowley 3 29 100/30 5 1 5 1:38.33 Richard Hills Barry Hills
1 May 2004 2000 Guineas Stakes 8 Newmarket Rowley 1 174 11/2 14 1 1.75 1:36.64 Richard Hills Barry Hills
20 June 2004 St. James's Palace Stakes 8 Ascot 1 139 6/4 11 4 1.25 1:39.02 Richard Hills Barry Hills
28 July 2004 Sussex Stakes 8 Goodwood 1 174 9/2 11 9 9.5 1:36.98 Richard Hills Barry Hills
16 October 2004 Champion Stakes 10 Newmarket Rowley 1 215 12/1 11 1 2.5 2:06.90 Richard Hills Barry Hills



In the 2004 World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings, Haafhd was rated at 124, making him the seventh best horse in the world, and the best horse in the world on turf in the Mile and Intermediate categories.[16]

He was given a rating of 129 by Timeform in the same year.[2]

Stud career[edit]

Since being retired to his owner's Nunnery Stud, Haafhd has sired the winners of over 170 races. His best offspring is probably Silver Grecian, winner of the Superlative Stakes.[17]


Pedigree of Haafhd (GB), chestnut stallion, 2001
Alhaarth (IRE)
Northern Dancer Nearctic
Height of Fashion Bustino
Irish Valley
Irish River Riverman
Irish Star
Green Valley Val de Loir
Sly Pola
Al Bahathri (USA)
Blushing Groom
Red God Nasrullah
Spring Rain
Runaway Bride Wild Risk
Chain Store
Nodouble Noholme
General Store To Market
General's Sister (Family: 9-e)


  1. ^ "Haafhd pedigree". Racing Post. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  2. ^ a b http://www.shadwellstud.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/HAAFHD-extended-pedigree.pdf
  3. ^ a b Montgomery, Sue (2004-05-02). "Racing: Haafhd way to happiness". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  4. ^ "Washington Singer Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  5. ^ "Champagne Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  6. ^ "Dewhurst Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  7. ^ http://www.tjcis.com/pdf/icsc04/2004Classifications.pdf
  8. ^ "Craven Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  9. ^ Greg Wood at Newmarket (2004-04-15). "Trainer hails Haafhd as Craven Stakes win | Sport". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  10. ^ "Haafhd claims Guineas". BBC News. 2004-05-01. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  11. ^ "St James's Palace Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  12. ^ "Sussex Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  13. ^ "Champion Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  14. ^ Eddie Fremantle at Newmarket (2004-10-17). "Haafhd hits heights for Hills". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  15. ^ "HAAFHD RETIRED TO STUD". Sporting Life. 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  16. ^ http://www.horseracingintfed.com/resources/2004Rankings/2004_Rankings_All.asp
  17. ^ "Haafhd stud record". Bloodstock.racingpost.com. Retrieved 2011-08-28.