Battaash on course for Abbaye on Arc day with Breeders' Cup trip also under consideration

IT'S all systems go for a next month's Abbaye for brilliant sprinter Battaash.

Charlie Hills' stable star made it back-to-back wins in the Nunthorpe at York last month.

He won the Abbaye in 2017 when the race was run at Chantilly – but he has flopped on his last two visits to Longchamp.

However, Hills reckons he has him firing on all cylinders ahead of the big day on October 4.

Hills said: "He's only had three runs this year. He's fresh, he's well and is in great shape. I couldn't be more pleased with how Battaash is training.

"He looks very proud at what he is doing. His enthusiasm levels are great.

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"As long as the ground stays reasonably good for France then that's where we'll go."

And the Lambourn trainer hasn't ruled out a trip to Keeneland for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint in November.

The six-year-old would have the chance to make amends for the dramatic defeat of his owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's Dayjur in 1990, when he jumped a shadow just yards from the post to throw the race away.

Hills said:"There's every chance. If he was really impressive in the Abbaye and he's fit and well we'll have to speak to Sheikh Hamdan and he'll make the decision.

"He won at Royal Ascot first time out this year so why can't he have his first run at Ascot again next year. There are plenty of routes to take.

"Battaash is the most important thing to us – his health and well-being. That is what we'll train him for."

Battaash is the 5-4 favourite for the Abbaye with Paddy Power, with the same firm pricing him up at 5-2 for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

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