04/14/2004 11:00PM

Haafhd beats Three Valleys

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Haafhd threw himself into the thick of the 2000 Guineas picture with a convincing five-length score over Three Valleys in the Group 3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.

Jockey Richard Hills put Haafhd (3-1) right on the lead for his father, trainer Barry Hills, and never looked back. The 2-1 favorite, Three Valleys, was rank in third early but was never going to catch the winner, who earned $51,733 for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum. Haafhd ran the straight mile in 1:38.33 on good ground.

A listed winner at 2 who was later third behind Milk It Mick and Three Valleys in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, Haafhd is by Europe's 1995 juvenile champion, Alhaarth, out of an Irish 1000 Guineas winner, Al Bahathri.

Milk It Mick, trained by Jeremy Noseda, will have his final 2000 Guineas prep at Newbury on Saturday in the seven-furlong Group 3 Greenham Stakes. He will face 10 rivals, among them the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes runner-up Fokine. On the same card, Majestic Desert, Ruby Rocket and Nyramba - second, fourth, and 10th behind leading 1000 Guineas candidate Carry on Katie in last autumn's Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes - mix it up in the seven-furlong Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes. They are, however, susceptible to the challenge of maiden winner Phantom Wind.