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Battaash

YO

  • 2021 Series win-2nd-3rd - -
  • 2021 Total prize money

  • Sire-Dam -
  • Owner
  • Trainer

Those with a need for speed should look no further than the Charlie Hills-trained Battaash.

The five-furlong specialist is recognised as the fastest horse in the world and scaled new heights in 2020 when winning the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot plus a second Colmore Nunthorpe Stakes and a remarkable fourth King George Stakes triumph at Goodwood.

His CV also includes him becoming (in 2019)  the first back-to-back winner of the Temple Stakes since Mind Games in 1995-96.

Predictably, the six-year-old (now seven) was named Cartier Sprinter Of 2020 in November when Angus Gold, Racing Manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: “To keep a horse going at that level for that long, it is a great reward for so many people, especially Charlie Hills and his wonderful team in Lambourn who have done so well with Battaash. A big congratulations to them.
“I have just seen a video of Battaash this morning out in the paddock at the stud being a lunatic and having a lovely holiday. Hopefully, as long as he is in good form next year, we will be back then to see what he can do.”
He will again be something to savour in 2021.

The son of Dark Angel has shown speed from day one but it was only in 2017, as a three-year-old, that he really began to flourish – winning over five furlongs at Sandown in a course record time before following up there in a Group 3 contest and then dazzling in the King George Stakes for the first time. Little did we know then that he would also win on the Downs in 2018, 2019 and 2020!

He was also a brilliant winner of the Prix de l’Abbaye at Chantilly that year – putting up an electric performance to win by four lengths.

Battaash’s fans have had to take the occasional blow to the chin. He found Blue Point too strong in the 2018 and 2019 renewals of the King’s Stand Stakes and his sometimes restless nature before races as a younger horse were factors in disappointing runs in the Nunthorpe in 2017 and 2018.

The restructured calendar in 2020 meant that Battaash couldn’t take up his normal outing in the Temple Stakes and instead had to go straight to the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Without old rival Blue Point to contend with, Battaash grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck and gained a deserved victory under regular jockey Jim Crowley. Then came a fourth King George success at Goodwood before a second triumph in the Nunthorpe.

Hills said: “It’s great to finally win a King’s Stand with him. I was slightly tense, but I’ve lived every emotion with him now. We have been beaten here twice before and, three times, I don’t think I could have dealt with that.
“We always think his ace card from the two to the one-furlong pole is that he can get horses off the bridle and he gets them all going whilst he is still cruising. Battaash is a very hard horse to beat when he is like that.
“Bob [Grace, groom] probably gets a stride slower every year, but the horse now goes at the same pace that Bob does. It is amazing the connection the two have. He might be one of the fastest horses in the world, but he walks so slowly.”
Rather that, than the other way around, Charlie!

@ChampionsSeries