Charlie Hills to head straight to Longchamp with Battaash

Mon 3 Sep 2018

Watch video analysis of the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes in which Battaash finished out of the places, our video interview with farrier Jack Partner as to why the horse wears copper shoes and read our report.

Battaash is set to sidestep the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh and will instead be trained for the defence of his crown in the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp next month.

Following his scintillating display in the King George Stakes at Goodwood, the Charlie Hills-trained speedball was odds-on for the Coolmore Nunthorpe at York last month.

However, just as in the same race last season, Battaash could only finish a lacklustre fourth, leaving connections scratching their heads.

Hills reports his stable star none the worse and feels he may benefit from being given more time between his races.

“He came out of the race perfect. Nothing came to light, which is obviously very good news,” said the Lambourn-based trainer.

Watch Battaash streak away with last season's Prix l'Abbaye

“I think we’ll avoid Ireland and get him ready for the Prix de l’Abbaye.

“We’ve obviously been talking about it and it could be that those massive performances that he puts in take more out of him than you might think.

“He’s in good order and we’ll just go straight for the Abbaye now, I think.”

Alpha Delphini will try to complete a remarkable family double when he bids to follow up his Nunthorpe Stakes success with a rematch with Battaash in the Prix de l’Abbaye.

His half-brother Tangerine Trees took Europe’s premier five-furlong prize in 2011 for his sole triumph at the top level.

Tangerine Trees could only finish 10th in his one attempt at the Nunthorpe, while Alpha Delphini dramatically stepped up on his eighth place in 2017 to spring a 40-1 shock on the Knavesmire last month.

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