Wathnan add Irish 2000 Guineas runner-up Haatem to Royal Ascot team

Powerhouse owners Wathnan Racing have added Irish 2000 Guineas runner-up Haatem to their Royal Ascot team.

HAATEM winning the Craven Stakes at Newmarket in England.
HAATEM winning the Craven Stakes at Newmarket in England. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The Richard Hannon-trained Craven Stakes winner, who finished third in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May, was collared late on by his stablemate Rosallion in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh last month.

However, with his new owners Wathnan Racing keen to avoid his Guineas conquerors at the Royal meeting, Haatem will be dropped back to seven furlongs in a bid to land the Jersey Stakes.

Richard Brown, racing manager for Wathnan said: "We are delighted to get him and it is very hard to buy horses who are proven at Classic level, but he looks a really tough, likeable horse,"

"James (Doyle) was very taken by him, and he had obviously ridden him at Newmarket and is a great addition to the team.

"There are a few reasons for dropping back to seven furlongs but most notably it's because Notable Speech and Rosallion are going to be tough nuts to crack. He showed plenty of speed in Ireland and with it being a very stiff seven at Ascot, I think he will be very strong at the line.

"He will have a penalty, but he's a big, strong horse and he should be able to carry it and will hopefully go to the Jersey with a strong chance."

Haatem is one of six recent purchases by Wathnan Racing, with Shartash, who is two from two since joining Archie Watson, also set to represent the blue and red silks as he bids for Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes success.

Brown added: "We were really impressed with him on his first start this year (at Thirsk) and we nearly made a move for him then,"

"We thought we'd better see him again first and was then impressed again (at Haydock). He has improved for being gelded and he is going to be a six or seven-furlong horse this year, and I think the stiff six (at Ascot) could be just about perfect for him.

"It's an open division and Archie is very good with these sprinters, so we're really looking forward to running him."

Shartash's stablemate Dyrholaey has also joined the Wathnan Racing roster, while likewise both Torito and impressive debut scorer Shadow Army are bound to represent their new connections at the royal meeting.

Willie Mullins' Lope De Vega filly Lope De Lilas has additionally joined the Wathnan squad with connections favouring the Juddmonte Irish Oaks over a tilt at the Ribblesdale Stakes.

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