Hathal bypasses Joel option

Hathal is set to be prepared for a trip to France next week after connections decided against letting him line up in Friday's Shadwell Joel Stakes at Newmarket.

Hathal (right): Set for French test

The William Haggas-trained four-year-old won twice last season, including in Listed company, but did not make his seasonal reappearance until earlier this month after suffering an injury.

He made an excellent comeback by winning a Group Three at Haydock and it is perhaps a measure of the regard in which he is held that Haggas remains keen on a potential tilt at the Qipco Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

However, his participation on Champions Day will depend on how he performs in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Chantilly on Saturday week.

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Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Al Shaqab Racing, said: "He's heading for the Daniel Wildenstein on Arc weekend.

"William is very pleased with him and he's in very good form. He just felt a bit more time would help and this would be a better set-up for him.

"We'll see how he runs at Chantilly, but William is keen to keep the QEII option open.

"He's a horse who loves to get his toe in a bit and you want to play to all your strengths at this level.

"William has always thought of him as a very talented horse. Unfortunately he had some bone bruising last year, which always takes a bit to get out of the system.

"He's a progressive, lightly-raced, good-looking horse with a fabulous pedigree, so hopefully the patience everyone has shown will be rewarded."

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