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Hathal skips France and heads for Champions Day

30 Sep 2016

Haydock winner heading to Ascot after connections decide to miss date at Arc weekend

Hathal, far side, edges home at Haydock and now heads to Ascot for Champions Day.Picture:

Hathal will head straight for the QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes after connections ruled out a trip to France because of unsuitable ground conditions.

After side-stepping Newmarket’s Joel Stakes last week, connections of the William Haggas-trained four-year-old turned their attentions to a possible tilt at the Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Chantilly on Saturday.

However, that plan was scrapped because of the likelihood of fast ground and Ascot on October 15 is the objective.

Hathal booked his ticket to QIPCO British Champions Day when making a triumphant return from a 12-month absence on rain-softened ground at Haydock four weeks ago.

“He’s going for the QEII,” said Harry Herbert, racing manager to owners Al Shaqab Racing. “There was talk of possibly running him again before Ascot, but William didn’t want to run him on fast ground and it looks like being fast in France.

“William decided to hold fire and have him cherry ripe for the QEII. He’ll go straight there.”

Herbert added: “It was a terrific effort at Haydock and he is a very good horse.

“We haven’t seen anything like the best of him yet, so we hope come QEII time that he gets his ground and he’ll be a lively outsider.

“It’s great to have a second string to the bow with Galileo Gold obviously the number one.”