bet365 Craven Stakes
Group 3, Newmarket 15:35
£80,000 guaranteed,
3yo only, 1m, Class 1   
Thursday 18th April 2024


1 Haatem 17/2
2 Eben Shaddad 10/3
3 Sons And Lovers 28/1
7 ran Distances: 3½l, 2¼l, ¾l
Time: 1m 35.09s (fast by 0.91s)

Haatem, following a dominant performance here, has thrown his hat into the ring for next month’s Qipco 2000 Guineas. The colt could join his esteemed stablemate, Rosallion, in the prestigious race.

Rosallion, who secured three wins out of four starts as a juvenile, including the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp, is Richard Hannon’s top pick for the season’s first Classic on May 4. Only the unbeaten City Of Troy stands ahead of Rosallion in the ante-post lists.

Haatem, despite a busy two-year-old campaign that included victories in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, appeared more exposed than most ahead of his three-year-old debut. However, he made an impressive reappearance in one of the key Guineas trials. Under jockey Sean Levey, Haatem quickened smartly out of the dip to secure a three-and-a-half-length victory over Dewhurst third-place finisher, 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.”


Quinnbet 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.”


bet365 Craven Stakes
£80,000 guaranteed, 3yo only, 1m, Class 1
7 ran
Going: Good, Good to Firm in places

1 (2)    Haatem 3 9-2 Richard Hannon Sean Levey 17/2
2 (6)
Eben Shaddad 3 9-2 John & Thady Gosden Kieran Shoemark 10/3
3 (3)
Sons And Lovers 3 9-2 Jane Chapple-Hyam Luke Morris 28/1
4 (1)
¾ Cambridge 3 9-2 A P O'Brien Ryan Moore 5/1
5 (7)
Native Approach 3 9-2 Charlie Appleby William Buick 14/1
6 (5) nse Alcantor 3 9-2 A Fabre Alexis Pouchin 2/1F
7 (4)
13 Champagne Prince 3 9-2 Jane Chapple-Hyam David Egan 22/1