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Battaash head 14-strong King’s Stand Entries

10 Jun 2020

Charlie Hills sprinter primed to ignite at Royal Ascot

14 of the world’s best sprinters have been entered for next week’s King’s Stands Stakes – the first race in the Sprint category of QIPCO British Champions Series.

The standout entry is the Charlie Hills-trained Battaash who has finished second in this race for the last two years and will be looking to go one further now his old adversary Blue Point has been retired. He secured his first Series win last year when bolting up in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York’s Ebor Meeting, taking down the course record in the process. Prior to that he’d also taken another course record at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in the Group 2 King George Qatar Stakes. It’s hard to discount a horse that has an appetite for course records.

However a possible ‘new kid on the block’ this year could be the Denis Hogan-trained, Sceptical. The lightly-raced four-year-old wasn’t seen on a track until the tail end of last year but has strode up the sprinting division ladder at rapid pace since then. His latest win in the Listed Woodland Stakes at Naas was something of a breeze and his trainer’s optimism has been boosted by securing Frankie Dettori to ride in the King’s Stand Stakes.

Hogan said “A lot of top jockeys have been ringing in the last 24 hours to get the Royal Ascot ride.” Usual jockey Joey Sheridan is an apprentice and doesn’t qualify to ride in the race.

On Dettori, Hogan said “It’s wonderful to be able to get one of the best jockeys in the world and I never thought we’d have one going to Royal Ascot that was fancied with Frankie Dettori riding.”

Other notable runners in the field include Glass Slippers and Liberty Beach. The former was last seen winning the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp ahead of a below-par, odds-on Battaash. The latter was seen to great effect last year at many of the top two-year-old sprint races and started the season off with a smart win in the Listed Cecil Frail Stakes at Haydock.

Full list of entries:

Battaash, Equilateral, Glass Slippers, Hit The Bid, Kurious, Liberty Beach, Oxted, Rocket Action, Sceptical, Sergei Prokofiev, Shades Of Blue, Southern Hills, Tis Marvellous, Well Done Fox.