Battaash fine after l’Abbaye disappointment

Battaash finished a close-up fourth in the Prix de l'Abbaye

Charlie Hills feels Battaash may have run “a bit flat” when beaten in his defence of the Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp.

An impressive winner at Chantilly 12 months earlier, Battaash made most of the running with Soldier’s Call until collared in the final furlong, yet he was only three-quarters of a length behind the winner Mabs Cross in fourth place.

“He wasn’t beaten very far. At least he’s good and well (after the race),” said Hills.

“Maybe he just ran a bit flat for some reason. We haven’t made any plans yet.”

The Lambourn trainer reported Phoenix Of Spain to be on course for the Vertem Futurity Stakes at Doncaster on October 27, after taking the highly-promising colt out of the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket at Monday’s five-day stage.

The son of Lope De Vega has shown smart form at seven furlongs, winning the Acomb Stakes at York and finishing second to the exciting Too Darn Hot in Doncaster’s Champagne Stakes.

Phoenix Of Spain is set to tackle a mile for the first time, and Hills believes that should not prove an inconvenience.

“He’s good. The plan at the moment is to go for what was the Racing Post Trophy,” said Hills.

“Stepping up to a mile should suit him well.”