Battaash leaves Lambourn for last time
Battaash, the best sprinter of his generation who touched so many hearts during his racing career over six seasons, left Charlie Hills’s Lambourn stable for the final time on Wednesday morning and made the journey to his retirement home at Shadwell Stud.
The gelded son of Dark Angel won 13 of his 25 races, highlighted by two Nunthorpes and the 2017 Prix de l’Abbaye. He also enjoyed a Royal Ascot triumph last summer when clinching the King’s Stand Stakes by two and a quarter lengths from stablemate Equilateral.
A decision to call time on Battaash’s illustrious career was made after he failed to fire in the King George Stakes at Goodwood last month.
An emotional Hills said: “He’s the horse of a lifetime. He touched the hearts of everyone involved with him. He’s been one of the family here.
“In Flat racing you don’t get too many who sit in the yard for as long as they do in a jumps stable.
“It’s sad, but it’s also nice that there’s a happy ending. He leaves here fit and healthy, and is going back to a fantastic place.”
Battaash’s huge popularity among racegoers was recognised when he paraded before the Nunthorpe at York last Friday. He recorded his joint-highest Racing Post Rating of 129 when winning the race in 2019 and lowered the mighty Dayjur’s 29-year track record.
The seven-year-old received a rousing cheer from those on the Knavesmire, and Hills added: “It was great to hear. He got a big cheer at York. It was lovely. Let’s hope he can have more days like that in the future.
“Hopefully he won’t just be sitting in a field. It was wonderful to see him walk on to the horsebox this morning healthy and looking so well.
“He has a lot more to give. He’s a special horse.”