Battaash returned to Charlie Hills’ yard at Faringdon Place in mid-March and has been incrementally amplifying his preparation.
Charlie Hills-trained Battaash, the highest-rated horse among the hundreds worldwide carrying the Shadwell blue and white of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, is on schedule for his 2020 and 6-year-old debut, per his conditioner.
The gelded son of Dark Angel returned to Hills’ yard at Faringdon Place in mid-March and has been incrementally amplifying his preparation.
“He’s come back very well,” Hills said. “He was a little more wintry than last year, but the last couple weeks, his coat has really been coming through. He’s physically done well and I’m happy with him. He’s had one swinging canter and we’re just trying to keep him ticking over. He’s not a big horse, so he doesn’t take as much training and is a good, clean-winded type.”
In 2019, the 126-rated sprinter cut holes in said wind, winning three of five, including an otherworldly performance in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York Racecourse.
Annihilating the course record by 1.4 seconds, he stopped the clock at 55.90 seconds for five furlongs.
Earlier in the season, he was an admirable runner-up for the second consecutive year to subsequently crowned champion sprinter Blue Point in Royal Ascot’s Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes.
This year, the multiple Group 1 winner of 10 from 20 whose massive 136 Timeform mark makes him the top-rated horse in Europe, will hope the third time is the charm in the King’s Stand—but he likely must run without a prep.
Thanks to the ongoing COVID-19-related complications on racing in Great Britain, his foundation run in Haydock’s Group 2 Temple Stakes has been toppled.
“It depends on how they program the rest of the year for him, but I don’t think we will be able to get a prep in before Royal Ascot, unfortunately,” Hills continued. “The race we would use has been abandoned, so we’ll go straight to Ascot. I don’t think anyone knows how it will all happen, but hopefully they do run it and all goes well. He should stay fresher later on into the year and we’ll be able to keep him going well, hopefully.”
Hills also expressed excitement regarding his 2-year-olds who are set to carry the famed Shadwell silks this year, many who did their breaking and early training from fall 2019 through spring 2020 at the renowned Dubai Stables.
“I am really happy with the ones I’ve seen,” Hills said. “A son of Ghanaati arrived a couple weeks ago and he looks like a really nice horse. He’s the best-looking of any of hers that I’ve seen. I’m really happy with them.”
Ghanaati, from just six starts, won the 1000 Guineas (G1) and Coronation (G1) before placing in both the Sussex Stakes (G1) against males and Sun Chariot (G1) against older fillies and mares. Her offspring include 2019 Royal Ascot winner Afaak and Mahab Al Shimaal (G3) winner Wafy.
Meanwhile, One of the most accomplished dirt milers of the past decade, Tamarkuz is scheduled to have his first starter as a sire on Thursday at Churchill Downs. The winner of both the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Park and Godolphin Mile (G2) at Meydan Racecourse will be represented by Cool Enough in the day’s first race, which is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. local time, 9:00 p.m. UAE time.
Owned by Rashid’s Thoroughbred Racing and Kingdom Bloodstock, Cool Enough is a grey 2-year-old filly out of the Macho Uno mare Make Waves. She is trained by Phil Schoenthal.
“We are very excited about seeing the first runners for Tamarkuz,” said Rick Nichols, Vice President & General Manager of Shadwell Farm (USA). “We have heard a lot of good things about them. Many of them look like they are going to be early. I know John Hyde was very pleased with the ones at Dubai Stable. Tamarkuz has 34 in his first crop. His second crop will be larger.”
Tamarkuz’s stallion page could get a little added bonus on Monday, as the son of Speightstown’s G1-winning half-brother, Without Parole, starts as one of the favourites in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita. In November, the son of Frankel was third over the same course and distance in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Since horses are herbivores and have a digestive tract quite different from ours, they require a special diet that contains more fibre and water.
Lyre, the 2019 G1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner, hasn’t won since that success, but co-trainer Sam Freedman is satisfied she can amend the record.
Woman’s Heart has made two appearances this season, coming home a close sixth in the G2 Tulip Sho at Hanshin in March before returning to the same course to finish down the field in the G1 Oka Sho in April.
'Shadwell Farm was incorporated in 1984, but farm operations didn’t start until June 1, 1985,' said Rick Nichols, vice president and general manager.
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