The Monday Yeehaaa – Battaash is Royal Ascot bound confirms Charlie Hills, Matt Chapman has the latest
BATTAASH is back!
Oh yes people, Britain's flying machine is all primed to make a return to action in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The news could well see a reduction in price for the Ascot dash, for which the defending champion is generally 3-1.
Many doubted Battaash would be in action as he picked up a small fracture while wintering at Shadwell Stud.
But I saw trainer Charlie Hills at Newbury on Saturday, who told me: "Battaash worked this morning and I was really happy with him. He should be fine for the King's Stand."
The twinkle in the Hills eye was clear for me to see. The Batmobile is on the comeback all right.
Battaash would have been just the type of horse Joe Mercer would have loved to ride.
It was revealed earlier today that Mercer had passed away, and he goes down as one of the legends of the turf as the rider of Brigadier Gerard and Bustino.
Smoking Joe, as he was affectionately known, was old school and told some tremendous tales of the turf.
As a young kid he was one of those jockeys i wanted to know all about. He had a skill with horses and will be much missed.
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How good was Palace Pier in the Lockinge? I thought he was absolutely awesome, and he showed the mixture of pace and stamina which is so rare.
I can't wait to see him over 10f at some stage as I think he might be even better at that trip.
That said, if he stays at a mile for Johnny G the three-year-olds are going to have to go some to stop him being the top dog in that division.
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One who might have a crack is French Guineas winner St Mark's Basilica, who finely gave some strength to the Dewhurst form.
And don't give up on Poetic Flare. The 2000 Guineas hero from Newmarket was stuffed in France but already looks like he is gagging for 10f as well.
Just under three weeks now to the Derby and Oaks and crowds are back on the racecourse.
I know this because I have seen them at Windsor this afternoon. Happy smiley people getting back to normal life. Just like Battaash.
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