31 July 2021

Battaash – 5 of his best

31 July 2021

As the curtain comes down on the career of the brilliant sprinter Battaash – having won 13 of his 25 races and £1,774,180 in prize-money – we take a look at five of his best performances:

Prix de l’Abbaye 2017, Chantilly

After meeting with his first defeat of the season in the Nunthorpe at York, when connections felt he lost his race before it had even begun, Battaash returned to winning ways in devastating style. With the race taking place in Chantilly as Longchamp was undergoing redevelopment, Jim Crowley bounced him out and he barely saw another rival, coming home four lengths clear of the Nunthorpe winner Marsha to win his first Group One.

King George Stakes 2018, Goodwood

Battaash first, the rest nowhere (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Archive)

Battaash had already won the Group Two event as a three-year-old and it was never really a debate that of all the tracks he ran at the Sussex Downs suited him best. The downhill section enabled him to hit top gear early in the race under little pressure, and it was a pace very few could live with. Despite conceding a Group One penalty he blitzed a good field by upwards of four lengths.

Nunthorpe Stakes 2019, York

Battaash was in a different league to his rivals on the Knavesmire (Simon Cooper/PA) (PA Archive)

Battaash had made the journey to York for the previous two seasons only to trail home in fourth on both occasions, so there were many suggesting the Knavesmire was not the place for Battaash. However, he was absolutely brilliant in laying the York ghost to rest, winning by almost four lengths. Conceding 15lb to the runner-up Soldier’s Call, Battaash cruised into the lead and looked in a different league to his rivals.

King’s Stand Stakes 2020, Ascot

Battaash strides out to claim his first Royal Ascot win (Alan Crowhurst/PA) (PA Archive)

Just like he had done at York the previous season, Battaash conquered another of his unchartered waters at Royal Ascot. Twice second to Blue Point, with that one retired the coast was clear. He might have been helped by the fact there was no crowd there due to the pandemic, meaning he was calmer than normal pre-race – but there was to be no disputing his authority over the others, with stablemate Equilateral chasing him home.

Scurry Stakes 2017, Sandown

The race where it all started in earnest. After winning on his debut at two he disappointed at Ascot and was subsequently gelded due to his tendency to want to get on with things, but he was beaten three more times in his first season. He reappeared at Sandown unheralded, yet despite running keen early after missing the break, he showed a glimpse of the speed which was to define him for the rest of his career.

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