Battaash showed no signs of slowing down ahead of his King’s Stand crown defense at Royal Ascot, according to Angus Gold, race director of Shadwell Stud.
The seven-year-old Charles Hills returns to the royal reunion on Tuesday for his seasonal reappearance, having finished undefeated in three sets in 2020.
Gold, who manages the riders for Battaash owners Shadwell Stud, says all systems are in place for the Royal Reunion, where the famous blue and white colors will generally be well represented.
At Battaash, gold said Sky Sports Racing: “Charles Hills very kindly sends videos of every workout. He looks great and they say he’s moving as well as ever. He still seems to have all his excitement.
“He’s a year older now, so you never really know, but the signs at home are good.
“He’s been such a star for us. We want to keep him in one piece. If he wins, fantastic, but at some point he’ll definitely slow down. From what they’re seeing at home, they don’t think he’s done it yet. “
It will be an emotional week for Shadwell as they prepare for their first Royal Ascot since the death of owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.
Races Royal Ascot Group 1
Tuesday 2:30 p.m. – The Queen Anne Stakes
Tuesday 3.40 – The stakes of the king’s position
4.20 Tuesday – St James’s Palace Stakes
3.40 Wednesday – The stakes of the Prince of Wales
4.20 Thursday – The Gold Cup
Friday 3.40 – The Commonwealth Cup
4.20 Friday – The stakes of the coronation
4.20 Saturday – The stakes of the Diamond Jubilee
“Sheikh Hamdan was particularly close to good horses. It is being played up there now and I know Sheikh Hamdan really enjoyed it.
“Last year he probably had his best year. He didn’t run a lot but he was undefeated in three races. It would be wonderful if he could come back and start over.”
Shadwell hopes to double the opening day of Ascot’s five-day reunion with promising three-year-old Mostahdaf in Group One St James’s Palace Stakes for coaches John and Thady Gosden.
The recent Sandown winner is undefeated in his three career debuts so far, beating Highland Avenue in the Listed Heron Stakes last month.
“He won all three races and I think he did well the other day at Sandown in conditions not necessarily ideal for him, but he did well,” said Gold.
“His future is in front of him. It’s a big leap in Group One and that will tell us a lot more about the horse.
“We left him alone last year, he’s had a very easy year. John has taken him slowly this year. The pedigree suggests he will get better.”
“Confidence is at its highest for Mohaafeth”
Mohaafeth heads to the Hampton Court Stakes after coach William Haggas chose not to run the colt in the Cazoo Derby at Epsom, having deemed the terrain unsuitable after heavy rains the day before the big race.
“Fortunately, I didn’t have to make the call,” Gold said. “William Haggas, from mid-Friday afternoon, was reluctant to the idea, especially after Al Aasy ran out of Coronation Cup. It didn’t help his mood!
“The ground was drying out and it wouldn’t have been very good in the end, but it just wasn’t what William thought was the best chance of winning a derby. With Ascot’s closeness, he just felt it was not the right thing to do.
“There are various people around the horse who think he can be a mile-and-a-quarter horse over a mile-and-a-half horse. He’s certainly not short of speed as we’ve seen. in Newmarket on his last departure.
“He’s not a big galloping horse physically. He’s pretty groomed and he looks pretty lively. The idea at Hampton Court is that if he were to go and win it, we have the option of the Coral Eclipse. three weeks later.
“He is an improving horse, his confidence is at its highest and we will approach the meeting with a good chance.”
Shadwell’s other hopes are guided by Hukum in Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes next Saturday. The four-year-old coached by Owen Burrows booked his spot with a Listed Tapster Stakes victory at Goodwood last month.
“I think he’s been really good,” Gold said. “He took his time to win at Goodwood, but Owen felt he was only going to get better from it.
“He gave her a little work this week and said he really sharpened up for it.
“On his pedigree he will only get better at four, so I hope this is his year.
“The interesting horse will be Mutasaabeq, which ran at the 2000 Guineas and it didn’t work. Whether it was from lack of experience or if he wasn’t good enough, it’s hard to say at this point.
“Charlie Hills made it easy for him to get over that and he did a really good job last week. Jim Crowley rode him and was very happy with him.
“He’s going to be racing in the Jersey Stakes to see if seven stages is more his game. I think that should be the right kind of race for him.
“We have an improving horse called Alfaadhel which is a Night of Thunder horse for Roger Varian. He has won his last two starts and is competing in the Golden Gates Stakes on Saturday.
“It’s hard to say how good he could be, but I think there will be a mile and a half left in time. He’s one of those three-year-olds who improve at the right time of year. Hopefully he will give a good account of himself. “