Qatar King George Stakes
|Group 2, Goodwood 15:35
5f, Class 1
|Friday 4th July 2017
1 Battaash 9/2
2 Profitable 9/4F
3 Marsha 9/2
11 ran NR: Yalta Distances: 2¼l, ¾l, ¾l
Time: 58.51s (slow by 1.61s)
Battaash wins for Charlie Hills, Jim Crowley and Sheikh Hamdan
Battaash took himself into the leading ranks of sprinters with a convincing two and a quarter length success.
Sent off a 9/2 chance, he is trained by Charlie Hills and was ridden by Jim Crowley, retained jockey for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.
Trainer Charles Hills said: "I was delighted with his performance today. It is drying ground but he seemed to handle it no problem at all. I was really impressed with him.
"Battaash is a three-year-old who is improving now and going through the ranks.
"It was a Group Two today, A Group Three last time and a Listed race the time before. He is progressing certainly the right way and was up against some proper sprinters there. He just travelled with such ease."
When the Lambourn handler was asked if this three-year-old son of Dark Angel compared in any way Muhaarar
, the former champion sprinter trained by Hills for Sheikh Hamdan, he said: "This horse is a serious speedball whereas Muhaarar I am sure would have got further. He won over seven furlongs and I am sure he would have got a mile had we gone that way.
"It will be the Nunthorpe
(G1, 5f, York , August 25) next for Battaash, all being well. The five furlongs at York should really suit him.
"Obviously, we have got the American horse Lady Aurelia to contend with there, which should make it a good race."
was in the money again when second to Battaash.
The Clive Cox-trained Invincible Spirit five-year-old was second last time out in the Group One Kings Stand Stakes
, with today's third, Marsha
also third that day.
Cox said: "He has run his race and I am really pleased with him. All credit to the winner - simple as that really.
"I don't know where we will go next."
James Doyle, who partnered the 9/4 favourite Profitable, said: "I'm very happy with him, he travelled into the race nicely, we got a little bit tight and Battaash [the winner] crossed us, but when we switched out he plugged away nicely.
"It was probably just the ground, it is very hard work."
Third home Marsha's trainer, Sir Mark Prescott, commented: "She ran very well. She was a bit squeezed for room when it mattered.
"I thought that she and Profitable would finish within inches of one another [three quarters of a length] but I don't think we would have beaten the winner who looked very good.
"She has run a great race, she and Profitable there is absolutely nothing between them, they are marvellous. How can they be so consistent? There is never more than a couple of foot between them.
"If she is alright, though it is up to the owners, I thought we might go for the Nunthorpe [G1 5f York, August 25].
"She is going to go to the Tattersalls December sales which is a sadness for us.
Luke Morris, jockey of 9/2 chance Marsha, said: "She coped with the ground fine but would probably be better suited to a quicker surface."
Betfred King George Stakes (Group 2)
£300,000 added, 3yo plus, 5f, Class 1
||Battaash (IRE) 9/2
||Profitable (IRE) 9/4f
|C G Cox
||Marsha (IRE) 9/2
|Sir Mark Prescott
||Take Cover 10/1
|D C Griffiths
||Washington Dc (IRE) 4/1
||R L Moore
|A P O'Brien
||Kyllang Rock (IRE) 33/1
||Final Venture 16/1
|P T Midgley
||Glass Office 40/1
||J P Spencer
|D M Simcock
|C G Cox
||Ardad (IRE) 20/1
|J H M Gosden