Glorious Goodwood: Battaash makes a daash - and it's four King George titles

He's done it. Battaash has won a record-breaking fourth straight King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood - beating his own course record in the process.
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The result was never in doubt as Jim Crowley and the horse they say could be the fastest on earth breezed home to take the honours in the five-furlong contest for the fourth successive year. He did it a new best five-furlong time for the track of 55.62 seconds. The previous record was 56.20s, set by Battaash in this race a year ago.

The six-year-old gelding, owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum, was in front after the first two furlongs and never in any serious danger thereafter, coming home two and a quarter lengths to the good of Glass Slippers (Kevin Ryan/Tom Eaves, 14/1).

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Trainer Charlie Hills said: "Battaash is so talented and we are very proud to have a horse like him in the yard.

Battaash on his way to history - a fourth straight King George Stakes victory / Picture: Alan Crowhurst, GettyBattaash on his way to history - a fourth straight King George Stakes victory / Picture: Alan Crowhurst, Getty
Battaash on his way to history - a fourth straight King George Stakes victory / Picture: Alan Crowhurst, Getty

"He is a six-year-old now and racing is so lucky to have six-year-olds like Battaash, Enable and Stradivarius still doing their stuff.

"Just to be involved in a horse like him just means everything really.

"He has broken his own track record. It is brilliant. Four consecutive Group Twos takes some doing and I am just so proud of him.

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"Battaash is not the biggest horse in the world, but he is well-balanced and a true athlete really.

Four up! Jim Crowley shows his delight at another record-breaking King George Stakes win with Battaash / Picture: Alan Crowhurst, GettyFour up! Jim Crowley shows his delight at another record-breaking King George Stakes win with Battaash / Picture: Alan Crowhurst, Getty
Four up! Jim Crowley shows his delight at another record-breaking King George Stakes win with Battaash / Picture: Alan Crowhurst, Getty

"He might only have two more runs this year and for a six-year-old, he is lightly-raced really.

"We are looking forward to the Nunthorpe now. We'll get that hurdle done and then look at the Abbaye probably. Who knows what is going to happen, it is a strange year and no-one really knows what the future holds.

"We'll keep going until he tells us he is not what he is today."

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Crowley said: "He was good. He was getting a bit lonely out in front. It is really hard to find horses quick enough to lead him and he was in front a long way. He was just idling and I had to give him a couple of taps to keep his mind on the job. He is so fast.

Prompting has a nice gap on the way to winning the Unbet Golden Mile / Picture: Alan Crowhurst, GettyPrompting has a nice gap on the way to winning the Unbet Golden Mile / Picture: Alan Crowhurst, Getty
Prompting has a nice gap on the way to winning the Unbet Golden Mile / Picture: Alan Crowhurst, Getty

"He is very consistent now and, if a horse wants to take him on a race, good luck to them. He is so quick, he just kicks them off at halfway.

"He broke his own record in the race. It is a great team effort from everyone, from the team who put him in the stalls to Charlie [Hills, trainer], Bob [Grace] who looks after him, Victoria who rides him at home. It has been a great week so far and hopefully it is not finished yet."

* Friday's action, though under clear skies, had a cloud cast over it with news that the goverment had cancelled Goodwood's Saturday crowd trial, which was to see 5,000 racecourse members and guests watch racing.

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The governemt has called a halt to all such crowd tests because of concerns over a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in some parts of the country,.

Once again today, racing remained behind closed doors - and what a shame that is for those unable to come and watch in the flesh as Battaashclaimed that remarkable fourth consecutive King George Stakes win.

Results and reaction from all today's races...


William Buick is having a good week at Goodwood and he got off the mark for Friday with a 6/1 victory on the Brian Meehan-trained Cepheus in the TDN Australia Handicap.

Day four began with the 11-furlong race for three-year-olds, and it saw a smooth success for Cepheus. The Sea The Stars colt made progress to challenge quarter of a mile out and hit the front entering the final furlong. He kept on well, holding off the late challenge of Moomba (Amanda Perrett/Ryan Moore, 10/1) to score by half a length.

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Meehan said: “We have always thought the world of Cepheus. He won his maiden well last year. We did run him in the 2000 Guineas first time out this year, which was a little ambitious for the horse but a reflection of what we thought of him throughout. William loved him round there. He said the pace was a little untidy, but the horse was there for him when he needed it and I thought he quickened up really well."


Tom Marquand kept up his record of a winner a day at this year's Glorious when he took the Saint Clair Oak Tree Stakes, a Group 3 race for fillies and mares, on 6/4 favourite One Master, trained by William Haggas, in a photo finish from Valeria Messalina

Entering the final two furlongs, it was not clear if a gap would appear for the six-year-old Fastnet Rock mare as she raced close to the rail. It was not until well inside the final furlong that she was in the clear to deliver a challenge but when she did, she quickened tremendously to get up on the line and score by a short head from Valeria Messalina (Jessica Harrington IRE/Frankie Dettori, 12/1).

Haggas said: “That is our 30th winner in July. I get all the glory and my team do all the work. I had a walk round this morning and I thought it was too firm for One Master.

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“However, there is a beautiful strip of ground down to the three-furlong pole from the start and there is still a little bit of give in there and I felt drawn in stall one, she would be able to go round there on the bridle into the straight. I was fearful and I won’t be relaxed until I see her tomorrow, but she is a really genuine filly."

Marquand said: “As a youngster, I always watched Hughsie [Richard Hughes] playing it late and I wasn’t quite sure whether I would get there on the line, but what an exceptional performance. To be able to pick up from that – I was quoted earlier in the week saying three back from the fence was where you are at your most vulnerable, and where did I end up? One Master is a class apart. She has won Group Ones, but for her to show that turn of foot today on ground she doesn’t really enjoy is pretty exceptional."


Tilsit (Charlie Hills/Ryan Moore, 10/1) landed the G3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes, run over a mile for three-year-olds.

The winner, a colt by First Defence, began to make progress three furlongs from home. As he entered the final furlong, he hung significantly towards the rail, hampering My Oberon (William Haggas/Tom Marquand, 3/1). Tilsit kept on well despite hanging, coming out on top by a length and a half from My Oberon. The placings were unaltered following a stewards' enquiry.

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Hills said: "Tilsit has done so well. He had two runs at Newcastle which is a completely different track to Goodwood and it was his first start on turf - he has really stepped up.

"It was a good step forward really. He has beaten two very nice horses. We knew coming into today that we would know where we would stand after the race and we are all very excited now.

"Tilsit has come a long way. The guys at home have done a great job at home and Will Kennedy [jump jockey] has been coming in most days to ride and he has done a fantastic job. A lot of thought has gone into this horse.

"We'll see how he is tomorrow morning and go from there - we could maybe come back here for the Celebration Mile."

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Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "That was a huge step forward. Tilsit has to mature, as he is still very babyish really. You could see that slightly in the paddock beforehand, but he was much better than he was the previous two times. And in the race he has handled it pretty well, but he did wander a bit, no doubt about that. He has some talent, no question. I think fast ground is the key to him, as well. I think he is still a bit goofy and immature."

Moore received a five-day suspension for careless riding.


Prompting (David O'Meara/Harry Bentley) was the well-supported 3/1 favourite for the Unibet Golden Mile Handicap and amply justified his position at the head of the market with a comfortable victory.

Travelling well behind the leaders, the four-year-old Bated Breath gelding took the lead entering the final furlong and without being asked any serious questions scored by a length and a half from top-weight Urban Icon (Richard Hannon/Pat Dobbs, 12/1).

Bentley said: "I was very happy with where I was positioned. From stall two, there was no point giving it away and trying to ride a bit more of a race off the pace, so I made a bit more use of him than he has done in his previous starts, and the pace was even enough; it certainly wasn't overly quick, so I was definitely in the right place.

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"I was always travelling incredibly well behind Joe Fanning [on Vale Of Kent], and it was just a matter of waiting until something opened. Prompting is a big horse, so he can get out of a bit of trouble and he had an awful lot of running, but the King Power horse on my left [Zwayyan] opened up a little bit and that was my time to go. He has a very good turn of foot; he's obviously won over seven furlongs, and he quickened up nicely.

"He handled the track very well. He is a big horse and very well balanced. This was a step up in class for him but I was watching his replays this morning and thought he certainly deserved to go up to this sort of class, and perhaps beyond. He has a lot of class, and off that weight he was always going to have a great chance."


Trainer William Haggas and jockey Tom Marquand completed a 12.75/1 double on day four of the Qatar Goodwood Festival as Pablo Escobarr (9/2) won the G3 L'Ormarins Queen's Plate Glorious Stakes. They were on the mark earlier in the afternoon with One Master in the G3 Saint Clair Oak Tree Stakes.

Pablo Escobarr was always travelling well and in touch with the leaders. He made a forward move passing the two-furlong marker and was in front entering the final furlong. He took the honours by a cosy three-quarters of a length from last year's winner Desert Encounter (David Simcock/Jim Crowley, 11/4 joint favourite).

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Haggas said: "Pablo Escobarr is a dear horse and I have made a mess of him, really, because that's the first time in ages we've dropped him in and given him a chance to get organised.

"He showed a nice turn of foot; we've been leading with him because he lacks a turn of speed, but today, ridden better, he has won a better race than he's been running in, so I owe an apology to his owner, but we got right today and I thought Tom gave him a beautifully kind ride."

Marquand said: "I guess to outsiders, you would think Pablo Escobarr was exposed, but being on board him and being around him, we always felt there was that little bit more to go for. We changed things up a little bit and were a bit more patient on him.

"There were only six runners, so we were not sat last, but I think it has really paid off to fill him up on the way round and get him enjoying it again.

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"For as long as I am going like this, I will be happy, and if that takes me to the championship at the end of it, I would be pretty speechless."


Zamaani (Simon & Ed Crisford/William Buick) had to concede 11 pounds upwards to his seven rivals in the six-furlong Unibet Instant Roulette Nursery but that was no problem for the Evens favourite.

The Night Of Thunder colt travelled well and went into the lead entering the final two furlongs. He ran on well to take the honours by a length and a half from Perotto (Marcus Tregoning/Martin Dwyer, 7/1).

Ed Crisford, who trainers Zamaani in partnership with his father Simon, said: "Zamaani did it really well off top-weight.

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"He was carrying a lot of weight there. He could have run in France at the weekend, but this looked a very suitable option, so we decided to come here and he did it really well."


Ventura Diamond (Richard Fahey/Oisin Murphy, 5/2) showed a very willing attitude to land the final race on day four of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, the six-furlong British European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes.

The two-year-old daughter of Dandy Man stayed on well to overhaul leader and 2/1 favourite Sarsaparilla (John Gosden/James Doyle) in the final furlong and then held the late challenge of Illykato (Mick Channon/Charles Bishop, 25/1) to win by a length.

Winning jockey Oisin Murphy said: "Ventura Diamond ran well at Sandown [when fourth on debut over five furlongs on 21 July].

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"Richard thought she would go very close and she is a filly with a lot of scope, so we are really pleased with that effort."