Battaash to undergo full check-up after l'Abbaye flop

Monday 7 October 2019 17:22, UK

Jim Crowley riding Battaash to win the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York
Image: Jim Crowley riding Battaash to win the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York

Connections of Battaash will have the top-class sprinter thoroughly checked over after he was well-beaten in the Prix de l'Abbaye.

The Charlie Hills-trained five-year-old was sent off hot favourite to win the French Group One for a second time, but he trailed home 14th of the 16 runners as Glass Slippers took the five-furlong dash at Longchamp.

His shock defeat came on the back of an impressive victory in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York in record time.

"He's eaten up and he's in one piece," said Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

"Honestly and personally, and it's only opinions like everything at this stage, but I don't think it was just the ground.

"You could make a case it was, but Jim (Crowley) said he knew after a furlong he was in trouble.

"We'll check him out, 100 per cent, and give him a break like we have done the last couple of years and see if there was anything ailing him."

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There had been talk of a trip to Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup but that seems highly unlikely now.

"It's hard to go to the Breeders' Cup on the back of a run like that," said Gold.

"I haven't asked Sheikh Hamdan, but you want to be going there in full form, not when you've been tailed off.

"I imagine we'll crack on next year with the usual route. He's a gelding and he's there to have a bit of fun with."