Racing: Pennekamp may miss 2,000

PUNTERS who are beguiled by ante-post odds on races half a year away are usually disappointed sooner or later but rarely as quickly as those who have backed Pennekamp for next May's 2,000 Guineas.

The Andre Fabre-trained colt was made the 7-1 joint- favourite for the Guineas after an impressive success in last Friday's Dewhurst Stakes and despite Fabre's post-race comment that he believed the son of Bering to be more of a Derby horse, the colt was subsequently well supported for the Newmarket Classic. Yesterday Fabre announced that first impressions had been consolidated and that Pennekamp could well miss the Guineas.

Anthony Stroud, racing manager to Pennekamp's owner Sheikh Mohammed, said in a statement yesterday afternoon: 'Andre Fabre has advised us that he is not certain to run Pennekamp in the Madagans 2,000 Guineas as his main objective is the Vodafone Derby. The decision will be made by Sheikh Mohammed in consultation with Andre Fabre next year and I advise anyone wishing to bet on the horse to do so with the proviso of 'with a run'.'

William Hill were quick to offer betting with that proviso, quoting Pennekamp at 4-1, followed by 13-2 Sri Pekan, 10-1 Celtic Swing, 12-1 Chilly Billy, 14-1 Eltish, 16-1 Burden Of Proof and Green Perfume, 20-1 bar. But Coral's spokesman, Rob Hartnett, said 'We've already taken a lot of money for the horse and a lot can happen between now and the Guineas anyway. We haven't altered our prices.'

Pennekamp remains 12-1 second favourite for the Derby with William Hill, behind the 10-1 favourite Celtic Swing.