Wathnan Racing Secures Promising Royal Ascot Contender with Shadow Army Purchase

Qatari Operation Optimistic About Norfolk Stakes Prospects Following Impressive Debut and Form Boost

With Royal Ascot on the horizon Wathnan Racing have added another exciting Royal Ascot prospect to their roster with the purchase of Norfolk Stakes hopeful Shadow Army. The Qatari operation acquired the juvenile from the Bronte Collection syndicate at the end of May and will keep him in training with Richard Fahey after an eye-catching win on his debut at York last month.

With York runner-up Francisco's Piece going on to Listed success at Chantilly on Sunday, Wathnan Racing's adviser Richard Brown is optimistic the new purchase can make his presence felt at the royal meeting in two weeks' time. "Wathnan Racing purchased Shadow Army after his debut win at York and we were delighted to see his form get a boost when the runner-up won a Listed race at Chantilly last Sunday," said Brown. "The plan is for him to go to Royal Ascot, probably for the Norfolk Stakes. We're fortunate that we've had a few two-year-old colts who have won since we bought him and we might be in the position where we may have to separate them. We could, however, run two in the same race at Ascot which is a bit different than running two in a maiden. Luckily, there are two five-furlong options for us at the meeting."

Alongside older runners Gregory and Rogue Lightning, Wathnan Racing's juvenile squad looks particularly strong, with recent winners Aesterius and Catalyse likely to be joined at the meeting by the Archie Watson-trained pair of Carrados, who recovered from a bad start to finish third at Leicester last week, and Monday's winner Electrolyte. "Archie has made an amazing start for Wathnan with two maiden winners plus Carrados, who got wiped out at the start first time," said Brown. "He could run at Beverley on Saturday or Goodwood on Sunday, and he could be on the Ascot team as well."

About Wathnan Racing

Wathnan Racing, owned by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, has quickly become a prominent force in British horse racing. The stable achieved notable success in 2023, winning prestigious races such as the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot with Courage Mon Ami and the Queen's Vase with Gregory.

Under the guidance of Richard Brown from Blandford Bloodstock, Wathnan Racing has strategically acquired top-quality horses to compete in major British races. Among these acquisitions are Isaac Shelby, who has shown strong performances in major races, and the undefeated Courage Mon Ami and Gregory.

In 2024, James Doyle, a leading jockey formerly with Godolphin, will join Wathnan Racing as their retained rider. Doyle is eager to embark on this new venture and collaborate with a dynamic team that includes Olly Tait, an experienced advisor for the stable.

Additionally, Hamad Al-Jehani, a leading Qatari trainer, will bolster Wathnan Racing's operations in the UK by being based in Newmarket, further enhancing the stable's presence and capabilities.