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Article 18th April 2024 Newmarket

Haatem (17-2) entered the reckoning for next month’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas when coming home the three and a half lengths winner of today’s bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket.        

The Group Three contest is a recognised trial for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and takes place over the Rowley Mile like the Classic itself.    

Partnered by Sean Levey, the Phoenix Of Spain colt was prominent throughout and after taking the lead two furlongs from home, he lengthened impressively to win going away. He is now a 25-1 chance for Classic glory on Saturday 4th May with bet365.    

The successful trainer Richard Hannon was winning the Craven Stakes for a third time after Toormore (2014) and Kool Kompany (2015). He is seeking a second 2000 Guineas success after Night Of Thunder (2014) and this year is also responsible for current second favourite Rosallion.

Hannon said: “He is a good horse and always has been. He won a Vintage Stakes with a subsequent Champagne Stakes winner behind him and was fifth in a Dewhurst last year.

“I said to Sean that I thought he’d get the trip very well and it seems to be this week that horses that race handy are winning. I don’t think you can say that was an average performance. He looked pretty good there.

“He has done it on the racecourse and 25-1 seems to be a little bit generous for the Guineas.

“He and Rosallion do a lot of work together, Rosallion is a horse with an awful lot of speed whereas this horse gets a trip extremely well. Rosallion will get the mile and they both will probably run.

“We’ve made no secret about how special we think Rosallion is and this horse surprised me with the manner of his win today.

“It is nice to have two very good milers on our hands with two very good chances. I think one has an exceptional chance and one now has a better chance than he had before.”

Trainer Kevin Ryan enjoyed a record-breaking fifth success in the Group Three Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes when Washington Heights caused a 33-1 upset.

The four-year-old son of Washington DC, who ended 2023 with a Listed success at Bro Park in Sweden, was always in a forward position under jockey Tom Eaves and kept on strongly to defeat Mill Stream by three-quarters of a length.

Cosmo Charlton, Racing Manager for owners Hambleton Racing Ltd, said: “We were looking forward to running him today and he is a horse that tries very, very hard in his races.

“He has run loads of good races for us and probably just been a bit unlucky here and there.

“He had done well over the winter and we were really looking forward to this year. He was impressive when he won in Sweden last year and we were hoping he’d outrun his odds today. Tom has given him a great ride from the front and got the job done.

“Kevin is a fantastic trainer of fast horses and it looks like he’s bought another nice one for us. We’ve had a great time with him and the owners have really bonded with him.

“It’s exciting times ahead hopefully, He’s in the Duke of York and Greenlands in Ireland and we could look at Royal Ascot further down the line. We will see what the boss says.

“The dream is alive with this horse and we will see where he can take us.”

Ryan’s previous triumphs in today’s six-furlong contest came courtesy of Hamza (2014), Astaire (2015) and dual winner Brando (2017, 2018).


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