Haatem could join esteemed stablemate Rosallion in next month’s Qipco 2000 Guineas after throwing his hat into the ring with a dominant victory in the bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket.

Rosallion, who won three of his four juvenile starts including the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc weekend at ParisLongchamp, is very much Richard Hannon’s first string for the season’s first Classic on May 4, with only the unbeaten and much-vaunted City Of Troy ahead of him in ante-post lists.

Haatem himself kept good company during a busy two-year-old campaign, most notably winning the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood as well as finishing second and fifth behind City Of Troy in the Superlative and Dewhurst Stakes respectively, but looked more exposed than most ahead of his three-year-old debut.

Making his reappearance and 10th career start in one of the key Guineas trials, Haatem was sent off at 17-2 in the hands of Sean Levey and quickened up smartly racing out of the dip to pull three and a half lengths clear of Dewhurst third Eben Shaddad.

“The way he did it has surprised me, but you can’t say that was a fluke. He’s obviously improved a lot physically – he’s a big, strong, impressive horse,” said Hannon.

“He’s a good horse and he’s just won a Craven by three and a half lengths. He won a Vintage Stakes with the subsequent Champagne Stakes winner behind him and he was fifth in a Dewhurst.

“Funnily enough, I said to Sean after the last race I thought he’d get the trip well and it seems the horses who have been making the running all week have been winning and have been hard to peg back. I know he didn’t make the running, but I don’t think you can say that is an average performance, he was pretty good there.”

Coral cut Haatem to 25-1 from 66-1 for the 2000 Guineas, with Aidan O’Brien’s City Of Troy their 4-6 favourite and Rosallion rated his biggest threat at 5-1. Betfair and Paddy Power make Haatem a 20-1 chance.

Hannon is ready to let both of his pair line up at Newmarket next month, but did mention a couple of potential alternatives for Haatem.

He added: “This is the racecourse and this is where it matters and on what he has done today, the 25-1 on offer for the 2000 Guineas could be generous to me.

“Rosallion is a horse that contains an awful lot of speed, whereas this is a horse who gets the trip extremely well. Rosallion will get the mile and they will both probably run (in the Guineas).

“We’ve made no secret about how good we think Rosallion is. This horse has surprised me in the manner in which he did it, but I don’t think he should ever have been a 20-1 shot for the race like he was yesterday. It’s nice to have two very good milers on our hands and two with very good chances in the Guineas – one with an exceptional chance and one with a better chance than he had before.

“He’s in the German Guineas and Irish Guineas as well and I think he will be a force to be reckoned with wherever he goes. I’m delighted and the owners are delighted – they deserve it.”

Levey said: “No doubt he (Haatem) is exposed, but I thought he brought a lot of good form to the table. He was a big horse last year and I always thought he was doing well to do as well as he did because I knew he would get better in time.

“I wasn’t expecting that sort of run today, he’s obviously been hiding a bit from me at home. I thought he wanted a mile and a quarter, but I think he has done that really well and he’s going to show his hand in the Guineas now.

“Rosallion is a good horse and it gives you a bit of confidence to see this lad win the way he did. I hope I’m right (when I say) that he (Rosallion) is exceptional.”

Shouldvebeenaring is in “the form of his life” ahead of his bid to land another decisive Newmarket blow in the Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes.

Richard Hannon’s four-year-old has been a real money-spinner for his owners Middleham Park Racing and claimed Listed honours on the Rowley Mile last spring in the King Charles II Stakes.

The most consistent of performers, the son of Havana Grey finished the season plying his trade in Group One company, beaten a neck in Haydock’s Sprint Cup before finishing off with a placed effort in the Prix de la Foret.

Having blown away the cobwebs on the all-weather at Wolverhampton last month, connections are now predicting an improved display over his optimum conditions, which they hope will tee-up further top-table outings later in the campaign.

“Six furlongs on decent ground in group company is probably him playing at home,” said Middleham Park’s Tim Palin.

“He’s won on the Rowley Mile before and Richard reports him to be in the form of his life and this has been the target ever since the Lady Wulfruna. We deliberately got an early call into him so we could get him fit and fresh for Thursday’s mission and hopefully he will run another big race.

“We rolled a few big dice with him last year and he never quite got his head in front at Group One level. But on a couple of occasions he threatened to be a Group One winner and hopefully he can be at some point in the future.

“He has a habit of going really well in competitive big-field races and it does look really competitive. Sean Levey gets on well with him and Richard thinks he has improved since last season, so we go there very hopeful.”

Commanche Falls finished second in this 12 months ago before going on to strike three times later in the summer.

The form of his Ascot second to Annaf last autumn was franked on the international stage and although trainer Michael Dods is unsure whether the seven-year-old will be primed to perfection for this Group Three event, the Darlington handler is looking forward to getting another campaign up and running.

“He looks ready for a run and it has been very difficult to get him ready with the bad weather up north and you have got to start somewhere,” explained Dods.

“We just want to get him started and he’ll improve for the run and come on for it and there will be plenty more races later on in the season. He is ready for a run though, so hopefully he runs well.

“He sort of wakes up later in the season and he’s quite a lazy worker at home, so it’s hard to have him fully wound up and he takes a bit of getting ready. He has to go to the races, otherwise we’d never get him fit.”

Getting the better of Commanche Falls in last year’s race was Charlie Hills’ Garrus, who like in 2023, will be partnered by leading rider Ryan Moore.

“I rode him when he won this race last season and he went on to run some good races in defeat,” the jockey told Betfair.

“This is his grade, though he was placed in the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest a couple of years ago, so he has a solid chance once again.”

Karl Burke is poised to saddle two in the race, with Spycatcher and Marshman both on the team sheet for the Middleham handler.

The former twice hit the frame at the highest level last term and will be attempting to pick up from where he left off, while Marshman failed to build on some top juvenile form in a 2023 curtailed by injury, but returned in rude health when just touched off in Doncaster’s Cammidge Trophy last month.

“Spycatcher wouldn’t want any firm in the description, otherwise he’ll be out, but both horses are in great form,” said Burke.

“Marshman ran a great race at Doncaster and will improve a lot fitness-wise for that run. He handled the heavy ground that day, but it wouldn’t be his preferred choice and good ground over six furlongs should be ideal.

“He goes out in the hood every day at home, he’s always had that. As you could see at Doncaster, he travels very strongly and I think he needs to relax early to get home over the stiffer six furlongs at Newmarket. Cliff (Lee, jockey) was keen to put the hood on, so we’ll see what happens.”

Class came to the fore in the Chasemore Farm Fortune Stakes at Sandown, as Chindit held off Knight.

Richard Hannon’s stalwart had got back to winning ways last time out in a Group Three at Haydock, although that meant he was carrying a 5lb penalty in this Listed contest.

With the rain turning the ground testing, Chindit’s task was made harder, but Pat Dobbs could be spotted sitting motionless with two furlongs to run.

Also going well was the three-year-old Knight, sporting first-time cheekpieces, and it was those two who came through to take up the running from Raadobarg.

Chindit (7-2) gained a length and while Knight pushed him all the way to the line, there was a head between them at the line. Raadobarg held on for third with Breege, owned by the sponsors, in fourth. Eydon, off since finishing fourth in last year’s 2000 Guineas, was a non runner.

Hannon said: “I’m delighted with that. It is nice for Pat, as he has ridden him in every race apart from two. He doesn’t love that ground and he had a 5lb penalty today.

“He is one of the biggest allies our yard has had for years. He has run in all these good races and turns up on every occasion. He never runs a bad race. He is a pleasure to have.

“Michael Pescod, his old owner, is always the first man to ring me as he is delighted. He has been such a star for us over the years. Dr Poonawalla (owner) has purchased him to service his own mares. A Group One is not massively on the agenda, and he wants to enjoy the horse for what he is.

“He (Poonawalla) has come over from India for today and he said ‘Richard the horse will run come what may’ and I like a man like that who says what he wants. He has enjoyed the horse and he has got a huge amount of pleasure from him.

“A special mention also has to go to Sean Fox and Callum Richards. Sean has done wonders with the horse, but the two of them have done a fair bit of work with him.”

He added: “He is in the Joel Stakes and I’ve put him in the Challenge Stakes. I’d like to take him to America or Australia and run him on fast ground, but there is also the Hong Kong option as well. There are all kind of options for him.”

Poonawalla then plans to stand Chindit at stud in India.

Chasemore Farm did have better luck in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes which they won with the Andrew Balding-trained newcomer Dambuster (17-2).

Balding said: “I’d hope he will stay a mile and a quarter in time, but not a huge amount further. I’d like to give him another run this year, but I don’t know where or when. He is a fine big horse and fingers crossed he will do well next year.”

Heredia finished with a flourish to land the Virgin Bet Atalanta Stakes at Sandown.

Richard Hannon’s charge was a convincing Listed winner at Haydock last time out and was duly sent off the 5-2 favourite to add to her tally in this Group Three affair.

Settled towards the back of the field as Roman Mist cut out the early running, Heredia was clearly travelling well coming into the straight and when Sean Levey gave the signal, she made rapid strides down the middle of the track.

Heredia seized the advantage inside the final furlong and while Queen For You tried to match her, the winner proved three-quarters of a length too good at the line. Last year’s race winner was a further length and a quarter back in third.

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