GBI RACING

Speedy Battaash to bid for King George repeat at Goodwood

Battaash will head to Goodwood with a penalty

Battaash will head to the Qatar Goodwood Festival next month in defence of his King George Stakes crown.

The Charlie Hills-trained four-year-old won the Group Two contest last season, before finishing fourth in the Nunthorpe at York, where things did not go to plan, and winning the Prix de l’Abbaye.

He was last seen finishing second to Blue Point in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot, when he was reeled in late by Blue Point.

Battaash and Jim Crowley winning at Goodwood last year
Battaash and Jim Crowley winning at Goodwood last year (Paul Harding/PA)

Hills is then looking towards the Nunthorpe again, and trips to Ireland and France later in the season.

“I’m really happy with the way he looks and the plan is to go to Goodwood,” said Hills.

“I think it makes sense to go there. It is a track he has won at before. He has got a 3lb penalty and it is not going to be easy, but it is a penalty I think he can overcome.

Dane O’Neil with Battaash after a winning reappearance at Haydock in May
Dane O’Neil with Battaash after a winning reappearance at Haydock in May (Anthony Devlin/PA)

“It is good timing ahead of York, as it is three weeks before that, then we’ve got the Curragh (Flying Five), which is three weeks after that, and then pretty much three weeks after we have the race in France (Abbaye).”

He added: “I’ve not done much with him. His coat is different class to what it was at Ascot. He has really come in his coat now. I’ve not worked him yet. We will work him Wednesday and go from there.”

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