Battaash Graces Goodwood Friday

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Battaash | Racing Post

Friday of the Qatar Goodwood Festival means Shadwell’s Battaash (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) once again and these cherished days of the history-makers fortunately seem to go on and on. Where Tuesday’s legend Stradivarius (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) led with a fourth renewal of one of the meeting’s prestige events over two miles, so Charlie Hills’s fireball goes to post for the same tally in the G2 King George Qatar S. over the minimum five furlongs. As strong as ever last time when taking Royal Ascot’s G1 King’s Stand S., the 6-year-old is at home on these Downs and is reported in fine order by his trainer. “Battaash came out of the King’s Stand really well. He has been fresh since then and he goes into Goodwood in similar form to last year,” he said.

“At Ascot, I thought he always looked in command. He travelled sweetly through the race, picked up and won pretty comfortably,” Hills added. “He’s very straightforward these days. We have got a good routine with him now–we have got a good team of people that ride him and look after him. Goodwood is a speed track–you go down a hill and that really plays into his favour. He is so quick mid-race that he tends to get his rivals uncomfortable with the pace he’s going and that is really where it plays into his advantage. For me, he is a horse of a lifetime. He has not been the most straightforward through his career and there have been times earlier on when he was very tricky to manage, but it’s great credit to all the team to have turned him into the superstar he is.”

Third in the King’s Stand, last year’s G3 Molecomb S. winner Liberty Beach (GB) (Cable Bay {Ire}) comes at Battaash again having finished runner-up to A’Ali (Ire) (Society Rock {Ire}) in Sandown’s G3 Coral Charge July 5. She at least gets an extra three pounds from the favourite due to his group 1 penalty and this track will play more to her strengths than Ascot. “I don’t think there was too much wrong with her last run at Sandown. The horse that gave her a lead dropped away and she probably hit the front a bit too soon on a day there was a strong headwind,” trainer John Quinn explained. “It looked like she would go away and win, but the other horse had a bit of cover and was the best horse on the day. The winner has won a group race at the Curragh since, so it looks good form. Our filly is in good order and we know she likes the track. Battaash will be very hard to beat, but we’ll give it a go.”

Last year’s G1 Prix de l’Abbaye winner Glass Slippers (GB) (Dream Ahead) also tries again to beat Battaash, having been fifth in the King’s Stand, and she is one of two Arc day winners on this card alongside One Master (GB) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}). Lael Stable’s dual G1 Prix de la Foret heroine takes a class drop in the G3 Saint Clair Oak Tree S. over the seven-furlong trip that she excels at. Fourth in this from a wide draw in 2018 before she proved herself a top-class performer, the homebred was beaten around a length when fourth in Newmarket’s G1 Falmouth S. July 10 and drawn in one this time should make her class tell. Trainer William Haggas is concerned about potentially fast conditions, however. “I just don’t want the ground to dry out too much for her, but she’s in great form,” he said. “It is a bit of a drop in class, but there are so few seven-furlong races for her. You’ve got the [G2] Hungerford and the [G2] City of York S. coming up, so she’ll go for one or both of those next.”

If One Master has one to worry about, it could be Marc Chan’s 3-year-old Valeria Messalina (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}), who took the G3 Brownstown S. over this trip at Cork last time July 12. Judging by how well the fellow Jessie Harrington-trained One Voice (Ire) (Poet’s Voice {GB}) performed in the G1 Nassau S. on Thursday, she is worthy of respect with Frankie Dettori on board.

In the G3 Bonhams Thoroughbred S., there could be more cheer for Shadwell as the highly impressive Britannia H. winner Khaloosy (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) steps into pattern company on the back of his 4 1/2-length success in that seemingly-competitive June 18 Royal Ascot contest. He is met by Khalid Abdullah’s 19-length June 27 Newcastle novice winner Tilsit (First Defence) and Sunderland Holding’s six-length July 18 novice scorer My Oberon (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) in an intriguing encounter between potential class acts.

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