Memorable day for Sheikh Hamdan as Battaash triumphs
His horses win four races in a row, including a Group 1 and two Group contests, at the Ebor Festival
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Minister of Finance, has had a dream year, so to speak, during the ongoing British horse racing season. And on Friday, it got even better with his horses winning four races in a row, including a Group 1 and two Group contests, at the Ebor Festival.
The brilliant Battaash successfully defended the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes after staving off the challenge from Que Amoro.
Trained by Charles Hills, Battaash won the five-furlong affair by a length over Que Amoro at the York Racecourse.
The brilliant Battaash strikes again and captures a consecutive victory in the @coolmorestud Nunthorpe Stakes under Jim Crowley who makes it four winners on the day! ??- York Racecourse (@yorkracecourse) August 21, 2020
Trained by @cbhills ????#EborAtHome pic.twitter.com/BF0YKrx3JI
The day had begun with Alfaatik winning the Sky Bet Handicap. And a double followed for jockey Jim Crowley and handler John Gosden with Enbihaar triumphant in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup Stakes.
Crowley then partnered Owen Burrows to guide Minzaal to victory in the Group 2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes.
Hills reckoned that it was Battaash's best run so far.
"I was so proud of the horse today," said Hills.
"For me, that was probably the best run of his career because so many things were against him. He knuckled down and worked really hard. All credit to the horse. It was always going to be tough.
"His experience got him through today. On similar ground, he's been beaten here as a three-year-old and a four-year-old, he's grown up and matured with age," he added.
Crowley, who too returned with four wins, felt that the six-year-old's experience came to the fore.
"He had to be a man today," Crowley said.
"He stuck his neck out and galloped, he tried really hard. We went a serious gallop, there was a really strong tailwind and it was blowing us over to that stands' rail. In the past he's always won his races at halfway and fair play to the second who ran a mighty race. He's the horse of a lifetime. You get one in your career like this. He's an amazing horse and we're lucky to have him about," he added.
Battaash could probably line up for the Prix de l'Abbaye in October.
"The Abbaye is the obvious route to take but if the ground is like it was last year I'd say we'll probably avoid it and look elsewhere. We'd need to speak to Sheikh Hamdan and make a plan. But Plan A would be to go to Longchamp," Hills said.
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