Jim Crowley will never forget Battaash’s victory over Nunthorpe in York in 2019 in a long list of memories he can treasure from the newly retired sprinter.
The fact that Battaash broke the legendary Dayjur course record, also held by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, and that his late boss was present on the Knavesmire that afternoon, made it even more special.
Crowley has only missed one of Battaash’s races since their association began in August 2017.
“He has been an amazing horse for everyone involved and Charlie Hills has done a fantastic job with him,” he said.
“Bob Grace deserves special mention for taking care of him until retirement and his new boy Bluey (Cannon), too.
“He’s been the horse of a lifetime and I will miss him very much. It’s very hard to find a buzz like you did with him.
“He was so fast – too fast for his own good sometimes, but it was always exciting to ride him.”
But there was one day in particular that Crowley highlighted as the crowning glory of his career.
“The day he won the Nunthorpe I will never forget as long as I live, it was a special day,” he said.
“He silenced a few of his critics that day and broke the Dayjur record, and Sheikh Hamdan was on the right track that day in York. There are a lot of reasons that made it a day. special.
“He was very good when he won the Abbey Prize and he also loved Goodwood. he was a speed horse.
“Nunthorpe’s day was something else, however.”
The first day Crowley rode him on the track was Battaash’s first King George win at Goodwood in 2017 – and he even felt like he was onto something special.
“For sure that first day at Goodwood I had the idea that he could be something special, but sometimes he was his own worst enemy,” Crowley said.
“He lost the plot in York the first year, but when he was good he was very good. He won the Temple one day and went through the field like a knife burning in butter.
“He was a special horse, I have a lot of fond memories of him. He was also a very nice horse, he was part of Charlie’s family, his children loved him. I will miss him riding.
“With Enable and Stradivarius he brightened up Flat’s last seasons. It’s very difficult for a sprinter to be that dominant because in many races you can run them five times and get five different results.
“It was a testament to Charlie and his team, Bob and everyone did a great job. It was a great ride and I enjoyed every minute of it. I feel very lucky to have met a horse like this and he’s ‘I’m sure I’ll have a happy retirement.’