Heeraat beats old rival Hamza by a length and three-quartersPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Heeraat lands Hackwood as Hanagan gets it right
Report: Newbury, Saturday
GT Exhibitions Hackwood Stakes (Group 3) 6f, 3yo+
HEERAAT benefited from a well-judged ride by Paul Hanagan to foil a late betting move for Hamza.
The William Haggas-trained 3-1 shot proved too strong close home and won by a length and three-quarters from Hamza, who was backed late into 2-1 (from 11-4). Krypton Factor, the 13-8 favourite, was a neck back in third.
In a weak betting market for the five-runner contest, Krypton Factor was initially backed from 6-4 to 11-10 before drifting in the face of support for Hamza.
Habitual front-runner Hamza was sent into the lead from the start but Hanagan was quick to follow on Heeraat and made what may have been a crucial decision by tracking to the stands rail, while Hamza raced towards the middle of the track.
Krypton Factor and 20-1 outsider Bettolle followed Heeraat, while Hamza was tracked by Shamaal Nibras.
The runners converged in the final two furlongs and, with Krypton Factor and the lesser-fancied runners stuggling to keep pace, the finish was fought out by the two pacesetters.
Hanagan's mount surged ahead in the closing stages to reverse form from his Beverley meeting over five furlongs in May with Hamza, who had beaten Heeraat by a length and a quarter at level weights on that occasion.
Maureen Haggas, representing her husband, said: "Maybe last week at York just tuned him up, as he's done that well. It was a gamble running over six furlongs, as a lot of his best form is at five, but he did win at six last year and we thought at York that he was going on at the finish after looking a little as if he was flat out all of the way.
"I don't know where he might go now, but that opens things up as he stayed the trip really well."
Hanagan concurred about the trip and added: "He deserved that as he's been so consistent."