- Sire-Dam -
Those with a need for speed should look no further than Battaash.
The son of Dark Angel has shown speed from day one but it was only in 2017, as a three-year-old, that he really began to flourish – winning over five furlongs at Sandown in a course record time before following up there in a Group 3 contest and then dazzling in the King George Stakes .
After those three victories he was a leading fancy for the 2017 Nunthorpe Stakes but he got restless before the start – a trait his connections have always had to guard against – and he finished a below-par fourth in a dramatic renewal won by Marsha.
Battaash emphatically turned the tables in the Prix de l’Abbaye at Chantilly – putting up an electric performance to win by four lengths.
In 2018 he returned with a comeback win in the Temple Stakes at Haydock before going off at 9/4 for the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot. He behaved well before the race, which his connections had been anxious about, but when the gates opened did too much, too soon and was collared late on by Blue Point.
Next time out Battaash successfully defended his Qatar King George Stakes at Goodwood in superb style and as a consequence he was sent off 4-5 for the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes. But, like 12 months earlier, he failed to reproduce his best in finishing fourth.
He was also not at his best when defending his Prix de l’Abbaye crown but he began 2019 with a bang – producing an electric display to become the first back-to-back winner of the Temple Stakes since Mind Games in 1995-96. Beforehand, Hills had said he had never been 100 per cent happy with Battaash in 2018 but that he had been delighted with him this term.
Battaash went off 2/1 favourite to turn the tables on Blue Point in the King’s Stand Stakes but again had to play second fiddle to him – being beaten a length and a quarter – half a length less than in 2018.
A third successive success win in the King George Qatar Stakes was followed by Battaash’s most explosive victory to date in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes. Nothing could touch him and he rocketed away in typical fashion, taking down the course record in the process and securing his first QIPCO British Champions Series win.
The restructured calendar in 2020 meant that Battaash couldn’t take up his normal outing in the Temple Stakes and instead had to go straight to the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. Without old rival Blue Point to contend with, Battaash grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck and bolted clear for a deserved victory under regular jockey, Jim Crowley.
Being a gelding, he should be a standing dish in the top sprints for many years to come.