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ASCOT, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND – Twice the bridesmaid in years past, Shadwell Stable’s Battaash made easy work of the field to win his third attempt in Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes (G1) on Day 1 of the 2020 Royal Ascot Meet.
Sent from the barriers as the prohibitive 3/5 stateside favorite, Battaash raced along the inner rail in front of a pack while Hit The Bid led from the middle of the lane. Halfway home, Battaash and jockey Jim Crowley inched up to take command and began edging away from the competition.
Still well in hand 2 furlongs out, Battaash remained confidently handled while the rest of the riders began pushing their mounts in earnest, but to no avail. Drawing off in the final stages, Battaash crossed well clear of his rivals for victory.
The Charles Hills trainee completed the 5-furlong turf sprint over the good to soft going in :58.64.
“I had to hold him for 2 furlongs,” Crowley said. “He was on a bit of a going day and wanting to charge off. My only concern was to try to get the fractions right on him because obviously he was quite keen today. There was nothing quick enough to lead him, and I wanted to save enough for the finish, which worked out.”
His stablemate Equilateral took second over Liberty Beach and Tis Marvellous, who finished in a photo for third. Glass Slippers, Shades Of Blue, Kurious, Rocket Action, Well Done Fox, Hit The Bid, and Sergei Prokofiev completed the order of finish.
An incredible performance from the flying machine Battaash in the King's Stand Stakes2nd in 2018 and 2019, he goes one better in the fifth fastest time everOn ground that is on the slow side of good 🚀#RoyalAscot pic.twitter.com/PlY3PG0sn3— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) June 16, 2020
An incredible performance from the flying machine Battaash in the King's Stand Stakes2nd in 2018 and 2019, he goes one better in the fifth fastest time everOn ground that is on the slow side of good 🚀#RoyalAscot pic.twitter.com/PlY3PG0sn3
Battaash’s win followed a pair of runner-up efforts behind the since-retired Blue Point in the 2018 and 2019 editions of the King’s Stand. The 6-year-old Dark Angel gelding improved his stellar record to 21-11-2-3, a mark that now includes 3 wins against Group 1 competition.
“Fantastic, he was really on his ‘A’ game today,” Hills said. “He was beautifully relaxed before the race, and as soon as the gates opened, you could see he was going to be very hard to beat. … I was slightly tense, but I’ve lived emotion with him now. We have been beaten here twice before and three times, I don’t think I could have dealt with that.”
Battaash brought back $3.20 to win and $2.40 to place, Equilateral brought back $4.80 to place, and Liberty Beach paid $2.80 to place.
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