Battaash likely to meet Harry Angel at Royal Ascot

Can the four-year-old win the King's Stand Stakes?
Battaash Harry Angel Ascot
Jim Crowley riding Battaash win The Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp Longines during Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe meeting at Chantilly. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Trainer Charlie Hills has indicated that star sprinter Battaash could line up at Royal Ascot.

The likely target would be the King's Stand Stakes and a meeting with Harry Angel, something the trainer would relish the opportunity to have.

"We’ll have to go to the King’s Stand now. And if it that goes well, I’d love to have a crack at the July Cup," Hills said.

"I think that track should suit him - you need to have speed to come down that hill there - and it will be great for the sport to have a clash with Harry Angel."

Battaash has overcome a wind operation during the winter to return a winner of the Temple Stakes at Haydock last start. The operation hasn't dented the confidence of Hill as Royal Ascot approaches.

"I don’t think it will make too much of a difference," said Hill about the operation.

"He was outstanding when he won the Abbaye. It was only a couple of weeks after that they found there was a problem. He went to have a routine gastric scope and they happened to find that his epiglottis was trapped so he underwent a minor procedure that went well.

"In his training I haven’t seen any difference."

A possible start in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint was on the cards initially for Battaash, but some quirky attributes will likely keep him at home for the time being.

"I’d love to (travel) but he is not the easiest horse to manage at the racecourse and he has his quirks," Hills said.

"We have to be careful where we send him. To send him to Australia or America we have to think carefully about the logistics. Hopefully racing will do him good. 

"The more racing he has the more settled he will become but we will have to take each race at a time, really."
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Daryl Curnow 27 May 2018

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