It has become a familiar sight on the Friday of the Qatar Goodwood Festival to see Jim Crowley in the famous blue and white silk of the late Shadwell Racing of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum flashing his rivals in the King George Qatar Stakes. Battaash is back this year, and his trainer Charlie Hills paid tribute to the seven-year-old sprinter looking to win the race for the fifth consecutive year at Goodwood Racecourse near Chichester, England.
“We were very lucky to have Battaash in this courtyard. It has become a huge part of our lives over the past six years. The most important thing is to stay in one piece, but we are currently satisfied with him. “
After suffering a minor setback over the winter, he finished 4th in the King’s Grandstand at Royal Ascot, an achievement that Hills thrilled.
“Battaash has been good since his run at Ascot and we haven’t had any hiccups at all. I thought he had a great race at Ascot, but they were probably too fast, which meant he was easily found out at this circuit. “
“Goodwood suits him very well as a speed track. He’s a no-nonsense horse these days and we know what races to use him for. He has a good routine and he enjoys his job, which is the most important thing. He’s still very competitive if you give him a horse and as long as he has that it’s pretty straightforward with him. “
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Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum saw some great performances from Battaash at Goodwood, but this will be the first King George Qatar Stakes since his death, which will prove to be an emotional day for connections.
“Battaash was very dear to Sheikh Hamdan’s heart. In those five years he began to watch him grow. The day he won the Nunthorpe Stakes was a very emotional day. He was a great supporter of the shipyard and we had a lot of success and great days together. He is unfortunately missing, but it is great that his daughter Sheikha Hissa is taking over the operation and I very much hope that Battaash can win for her at Goodwood. “
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