How many times did Battaash win the Nunthorpe Stakes?
Owned, latterly, by Shadwell Estate Company Ltd., following the death of founder, Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, in March, 2021, and trained by Charles Hills, Battaash was described by Timeform as ‘one of the best five-furlong sprinters of all time’. He was retired, as a 7-year-old, after attempting, unsuccessfully, to win the King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood for the fifth consecutive year in July, 2021.
All told, Battaash won 13 of his 23 starts, including four at the highest, Group 1 level, and earned £1.47 million in winning prize money alone. The son of Dark Angel, a leading sire of sprinters, first rode to prominence in his 3-year-old campaign, in 2017, at the end of which he won his first Group 1 race, the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp.
As far as the Nunthorpe Stakes was concerned, Battaash ran in the York showpiece four times, famously finishing a well-held fourth on his first two attempts, in 2017 and 2018. However, in 2019, Battaash silenced his doubters by quickening clear to win the Nunthorpe Stakes by 3¾ lengths and, in so doing, beat the previous track record set by Dayjur in 1990. In 2020, Battaash was sent off at odds-on to defend his title; rain-softened ground, driving rain and gusting, 40mph winds put paid to any hopes of lowering the course record again, but he nonetheless battled to a one-length victory over 22/1 chance Que Amoro.