RACING: Punters move for Aqaarid

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Aqaarid swept to the front of the 1,000 Guineas betting yesterday as punters anticipated that Willie Carson will opt to ride the Fred Darling Stakes winner in the Newmarket Classic.

She was cut to 7-2 favourite from 5-1 by Coral, leapfrogging Hamdan Al Maktoum's other runner, Harayir, who is a 4-1 chance. She also hardened to 6-1 from 7-1 for the Oaks. The John Dunlop trained filly attracted similar support with Ladbrokes, who shortened her to 4-1 from 5-1.

The market activity has been stimulated by news that Richard Hills, number two jockey for Sheikh Hamdan, is to ride Harayir in work on the Lambourn gallops of her trainer, Dick Hern, today.

But the owner's racing manager, Angus Gold, stressed: "That was arranged just in case Willie opts for Aqaarid. Dick took the opportunity to get Richard down to get to know Harayir beforehand. But there has been no decision and I don't think there will be for a while. I spoke to Willie this morning and he said he hadn't decided. He will not be rushed into making his mind up. It's the same situation in the 2,000 Guineas, with Willie undecided between Bahri and Nwaamis."