08 September 2020

Brilliant Battaash still has Breeders’ Cup option

08 September 2020

Charlie Hills appears increasingly keen on taking Battaash to America for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, should all go well in the Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp.

The Lambourn trainer reports his crack sprinter to be in tip-top shape ahead of the five-furlong Group One on October 4, and is expecting a big run .

Battaash has been in tremendous form this season, winning all his three starts and hopes are high he can regain the Abbaye crown he lifted in 2017 and make up for defeats in the last two years.

“He’s only had three runs this year. He’s fresh, he’s well and is in great shape. I couldn’t be more pleased will how Battaash is training,” Hills told Sky Sports Racing.

“He looks very proud at what he is doing. His enthusiasm levels are great.

“As long as the ground stays reasonably good for France then that’s where we’ll go.”

Should he head to Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup on November 7 he would have the chance to make amends for the dramatic defeat of his owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Dayjur in 1990, when he jumped a shadow just yards from the post with victory in sight.

“There’s every chance. If he was really impressive in the Abbaye and he’s fit and well we’ll have to speak to Sheikh Hamdan and he’ll make the decision,” said Hills.

“He won at Royal Ascot first time out this year so why can’t he have his first run at Ascot again next year. There are plenty of routes to take.

“Battaash is the most important thing to us – his health and well-being. That is what we’ll train him for.”

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