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Dublin: 4°C Monday 1 March 2021

'Horse of a lifetime' Battaash adds Nunthorpe crown to his stellar season

Favourite sees off gallant Que Amoro for repeat victory in York showpiece.

Battaash (right) battles it out with Que Amoro.
Battaash (right) battles it out with Que Amoro.
Image: Alan Crowhurst/PA

BATTAASH CONTINUED HIS brilliant sprinting CV with a hard-fought victory in defence of his Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes crown at York.

Charlie Hills’ speedster had to defy rain-softened ground which put hopes of bettering the course record he set last year off the agenda.

He also faced an unexpectedly stern challenge from outsider Que Amoro, before getting firmly on top in the final furlong to land the odds as the 1-2 favourite and see off the 22-1 runner-up by a length.

Jim Crowley was capping an outstanding day in the saddle, completing a four-timer in the first four races – following the victories of Alfaatik, Enbihaar and Minzaal, all like Battaash for his retained owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Hills said: “He’s had to really work hard in very tricky conditions. There was a lot against him, the wind was howling, the pace was on the other side, but I think experience won him it today.” 

On plans, he said: “The Abbaye is the obvious route to take, but if the ground is like last year we’d probably avoid it and look elsewhere, but I don’t know where that might be. I’d have to speak to Sheikh Hamdan. At the moment Plan A would be Longchamp.”

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Asked about the Breeders’ Cup, Hills said: “That’s definitely going to be a decision from Sheikh Hamdan himself. Plan A is definitely to go to France – then, who knows?

“The world we’re living in at the moment, it’s not easy to have too many set-in-stone plans.

“He’s just the horse of a lifetime really. To show us that enthusiasm throughout – it’s emotional now.”

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