Battaash may head straight to the King’s Stand Stakes
10 Apr 2019
Charlie Hills says star sprinter has done much better from four to five than he did from three to four.
Battaash will seek to go one better in the King’s Stand Stakes. Picture: Racingfotos.com
For the second season running, the Charlie Hills-trained five-year-old was a brilliant winner of the King George Stakes at Goodwood last August – but disappointed when odds-on for the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes three weeks later.
He also failed to run up to his best when defending his crown in the Prix de l’Abbaye on his final start of 2018, but Hills believes his charge is in rude health as he approaches his return to action.
Hills said: “Battaash is in really good form, and I think he’s done much better from four to five than he did from three to four.
“His weight is good, and he looks a picture. He didn’t really get his summer coat until after Royal Ascot last year, whereas this year it’s coming through already.”
Battaash has yet to win a QIPCO British Champions Series race but he found only Blue Point too strong in last year’s King’s Stand, and a mouth-watering rematch looks to be on the cards.
“Whether he’ll run before Royal Ascot, I’m not sure. We’re all gearing him up for the King’s Stand,” Hills added.
“There aren’t many options for him before that. It’s probably the Haydock race he won last year (Temple Stakes) or nothing.”
Battaash is a general 6/1 for the King’s Stand, with Blue Point heading the market at 4/1. It is the first of seven races in the Sprint Category of this year’s Series.
CHAMPIONS SERIES 2019 SPRINT CATEGORY:
June 18: King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot (£500,000)
June 21: Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot (£500,000)
June 22: Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot (£600,000)
July 13: Darley July Cup at Newmarket (£500,000)
August 23: Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York (£350,000)
September 7: 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock (£260,000)
October 19: QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot (£600,000)