Charlie Hills is convinced Battaash is at the very top of his game ahead of his bid for a second success in the Prix de lAbbaye on Sunday.
The five-year-old was a brilliant winner of this five-furlong Group One when it was run at Chantilly in 2017 – however could only finish fourth when a hot favourite to become the first double winner because the mighty Lochsong (1993 and 1994) 12 weeks ago.
But he returns to ParisLongchamp on the rear of what was a career-best performance in the Nunthorpe – doubts about his own capacity to make his best with a scintillating screen at York – and Hills feels his steady star is at the same shape today.
Hills said:Im really happy with him. His planning has been quite much like what it went into York and his burden is precisely the same.
I believe that the draw (stall 11) is pretty much flawless, to tell the truth. Hopefully well be able to ride our own race from there.
We will not understand what the ground is like until we get out there, however, he has won on soft earth before.
Hell need to go prior to his latest mission, although hills felt being able to travel his bill on the morning of the Nunthorpe was beneficial.
The master of Wetherdown House is hoping that it wont be a significant problem, adding:Hes travelling on Saturday, just as he did when he won the race at Chantilly.
Battaash is place to face 15 competitions, such as a years winner Mabs Cross.
The mare has finished the few times theyve met and the Hills-trained celebrity is expected by trainer Michael Dods.
She appears in fantastic form. She did a nice piece of work a week and were very pleased with her, stated the Darlington-based trainer.
A bit of ease in the ground will suit . How she races now, she almost looks like she wants six furlongs, therefore soft earth over five could aid her.
The biggest issue weve got is Battaash. Ive yet to find a horse that may beat on him if hes on his A-game – he is thus far superior to every sprinter, when he is at his best.
The problem they would have is that they were able to travel up him to York on the afternoon of the race that year, whereas theyve obviously got to carry him to France this weekend. Whether this is going to be a problem, I do not understand, as he has always been there and done it previously.
If he runs up to his greatest, I do not believe any people will beat him, but she won the race last year and deserves to be there again
Archie Watsons Soldiers Phone was third 12 months ago and has run at York this year – like a runner-up finish behind Battaash with charge in a series of sprints.
He was last seen finishing fourth in the months Flying Five in the Curragh – a race in.
Watson said:He has been operating well all year. He is in order at home and I am hoping he will run.
He will deserve to get his head in the front, but unfortunately theres a really excellent sprinter called Battaash around.
He is in stall 15, however, I think the winner arrived from 13 last year.
James Tates Invincible Army bounced back from two or three below-par attempts to finish third in the Flying Five to his most recent outing.
He ran a fantastic race in Ireland and Ive been really happy with him because, said Tate.
Battaash is going to be very hard to beat, but I hope hell run a fantastic race.
Recon Mission (Tony Carroll), El Astronaute (John Quinn), Glass Slippers (Kevin Ryan) and Colors Of Blue (Clive Cox) finish the British challenge, while Aidan OBrien sends Flying Five winner Fairyland and Thus Perfect out of Ireland.
Pascal Barys Spinning Memories is your chief hope for the home team.
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