Brilliant Battaash Hoping to Stamp Royal Ascot Ticket With Temple Stakes Success
A thrilling Saturday card a Haydock is highlighted by the Group 2 Temple Stakes this weekend and all eyes will be on the brilliant Battaash.
The Charlie Hills trained sprinter enjoyed a remarkable run of results in 2017 which saw the Dark Angel gelding win four of his five starts to emerge as one of the stars of the sport. The four-year-old picked up a Group 3 win at Sandown, a Group 2 at Goodwood and the all important Group 1 in France last term and connections are hoping for another successful campaign.
The Hamdan Al Maktoum colt will start a red hot favourite for the Temple Stakes this weekend and a good run at the Lancashire venue will book his ticket for a King's Stand Stakes tilt at Royal Ascot next month. First though is Haydock and although it is far from a gimme, Battaash is going to be the one to beat based on all known form.
Timeform rate Battaash as the joint best in Europe alongside Cracksman on 136 which shows just how highly regarded he is going into the first day at school since October.
There are eleven declared for the Group 2 race over 5f with stunning Chester winner Kachy the main threat to the favourite in the betting. The Tom Dascombe trained sprinter is perhaps the fastest in the business out of the gates, as he showed last time out on the Roodee, which could see the favourite given a stern test on seasonal debut.
Muthmir was a Group 2 winner in France last year and would have each-way claims on his best form, while 11-year-old Take Cover is to be respected on seasonal debut having won three on the bounce last back end, although he has plenty to find with Battaash on their Goodwood clash last July.
The majority of the focus though will fall on Battaash and rightly so with Royal Ascot fast approaching. The sprinting division is red hot in the UK and Ireland at the moment and a positive display this weekend will see the Charlie Hills in-mate harden up as the favourite for the King's Stand Stakes.
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