| 15.3°C Belfast

Hills sure it'll be third time lucky for Battaash


Charlie Hills senses Battaash can lay his Ascot hoodoo to rest and show his true colours in the King's Stand Stakes on the opening day of the Royal meeting.

Battaash has yet to score at the Berkshire venue but has finished second in the last two runnings of the Group One dash over five furlongs. Only Blue Point has been superior on both occasions, and Godolphin's ace has since been retired to stud.

It was a similar story for Battaash at York before the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned gelding smashed the course record there when winning the Nunthorpe Stakes in August.

Hills has been pleased with the six-year-old's preparation.

"We've been pleased with him. His work has been nice, the same as ever," said the Lambourn trainer. "As for the ground, I don't think there's too much rain to come before the race now, maybe a shower tomorrow. We're happy enough with him.

"If you take Blue Point away he'd have won the race twice, and everyone would be saying he loved Ascot.

"York was a very special day, and he put paid to his critics there."

Belfast Telegraph