Battaash ruled out of the Breeders’ Cup but will be back in 2021

Horse Racing Battaash York Nunthorpe Stakes ruled out of Breeders' Cup
Battaash (Jim Crowley): Nunthorpe Stakes winner will not go to the Breeders’ Cup. Photo: Qipco British Champions Series

By Jon Lees

GB: Champion sprinter Battaash will not contest next month’s Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland and is finished for the year.

The Charlie Hills-trained gelding, who was 7-4 favourite with Ladbrokes for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, will have his usual winter break and be brought back for next year’s British Flat turf season, his owner Hamdan Al Maktoum has decided.

Sheikh Hamdan’s racing manager Angus Gold said: “Battaash doesn’t run in the Breeders’ Cup. Charlie has always said he would like to go but Sheikh Hamdan is always much more concerned about seeing the horse run in Britain, where he normally can get to see him.

“He was just worried about him going round the bend at Keeneland at flat-out speed, on possibly soft ground which he doesn’t love. He would rather him have a holiday and come back here for next season.”

Now aged six, Battaash has enjoyed a brief but dominant campaign, winning the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, the King George Stakes at Goodwood and the Nunthorpe Stakes at York. He missed this month’s Prix de l’Abbaye because of testing ground at ParisLongchamp.

The gelded son of Dark Angel now boasts a record of 13 wins from 23 starts, winning total prize-money of £1.7 million.

“At the age he is it’s been fantastic just have him around still performing at that level,” said Gold. “We will give him a break and see if he can come back next year. As long as he’s still enjoying it and is competitive we will give it a squeak.”

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