Trainer Charles Hills seems to be very keen on sending his stable star Battaash over to the US for the Breeders Cup Meeting if he comes out of the Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp in good form.
The handler has stated that his pacy six year old has come out of the Nunthorpe Stakes, in which he landed for the second season running at York's Ebor meeting, very well and all roads now lead to France on the first weekend in October.
Battaash has been better than ever this term landing his first ever King's Stands Stakes at Royal Ascot and then backing that up at Goodwood with his fourth King George Qatar Stakes and after that landing the Nunthorpe with a gritty, determined performance in soft conditions.
The Prix de l’Abbaye is a race he landed back in 2017 but having ran in the event again since then and not performing well, it has become a race that does not play to the strengths of arguably the greatest sprinter to ever live.
(Credit ATR) “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.
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.”
The Breeders Cup meeting is not something Battaash has ever been thought about for in the past but with the master sprinter coming towards the end of his career he might not get another chance and that has come into the thinking of his trainer and owner Hamdan Al Maktoum.
“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.”