William Haggas’ Rivet to have his Classic credentials tested in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday


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William Haggas’ colt won the Champagne Stakes and the Racing Post Trophy last year but he was disappointing on his only start at the course

WILLIAM HAGGAS will find out whether Rivet is a realistic contender for the Qipco 2000 Guineas by running in the bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.

Haggas’ colt won the Champagne Stakes and the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster as a two-year-old, but sandwiched in between was a disappointing run in the Dewhurst.


Jockey Andrea Atzeni felt Rivet was unsuited by the undulating nature of the Rowley Mile, but Haggas feels other factors contributed to his demise that day.

“I’m hoping he’ll run a good race,” Haggas told At The Races.

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Rivet will have his Classic credentials tested

“Andrea wasn’t happy with the track when he ran in the Dewhurst, but I think seven furlongs on quick ground, when they didn’t go that fast and we held on to him, wasn’t his ideal conditions.

“I think he should be fine on the track, personally, but if he gets stuffed, then he won’t be running in the 2000 Guineas, I suspect.

“The horse is fit enough to run a good race. He should come on for it but he’s ready to go.

“He’s a nice, strong, genuine galloping horse.”

Aidan O’Brien, who has never won the Craven, saddles War Decree, who has not been seen since winning the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood last July.

War Decree (right) was last seen winning the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood

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War Decree (right) was last seen winning the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood

The beautifully-bred Benbatl made a big impression on his racecourse debut at Doncaster at the start of the month and steps up in class for Godolphin and trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

“He has done well since the last race he won. He worked a few days ago on the watered gallop really nicely,” said Bin Suroor.

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“He looks in good form, we just need to find out how good he is for the future.

“I thought he would win last time but he won really well. We need to see something more from him in his next race.

“I think the track here will be fine for him. In the future, he will want a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half.”


Eminent won on his debut at Newmarket

Eminent is an interesting contender for Sefton Lodge handler Martyn Meade.

The son of Frankel was an impressive winner over the course and distance last September and has pleased connections ahead of the new campaign.

Meade said: “We are very excited to get him started and we’ll find out what we have.

“We can’t do any more with him at home. He needs to have a run now.

“It’s going to be tough, but at least we’ll know where we stand. It’s sink-or-swim time and we’ll find out whether we have a champion or not.

“We’ve only got one run to go on and this will help us decide where to go.”

Richard Hannon is represented by Tattersalls Stakes winner Larchmont Lad, who carries the colours of Cheveley Park Stud for the first time.

Hugo Palmer saddles York maiden winner Gulliver, while David Menuisier’s Contrapposto completes the seven-strong field.


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