Dubai: Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, continued to rule over British racing with an outstanding four-in-a-row on day 3 of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival on Friday.
Having dominated Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood earlier this year, Sheikh Hamdan’s horses have been absolutely flying, which is perhaps the best possible way to describe star sprinter Battaash’s performance to win a second successive Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at the Knavesmire.
Former British champion jockey Jim Crowley has played a pivotal role as an integral member of Sheikh Hamdan’s crack team, which he demonstrated with a assiduous ride aboard Battaash, notwithstanding three consecutive winners earlier in the day.
Sent off as the half-price favourite, Battaash had to survive one of the toughest tests of his career when Que Amoro and Paul Hanagan relentlessly chased him all the way to the line with only a length separating the pair at the finish.
“He had to be a man today, he stuck his head down and galloped and he tried very hard,” Crowley told ITC Racing.
“In the past, he’s always won his races at halfway. Fair play to the second. He’s really changed this horse.
“I would imagine the (the Prix de Abbaye, Paris) would be the plan. Hopefully we won’t get the same testing conditions,” added Crowley who moved to just two just two wins short of 2,000 career winners.
“He’s the horse of a lifetime. I actually wore the headcam on him today which I haven’t done before.”
Battaash has clearly emerged as one of the best sprinters in the world having won the Scurry Stakes, Coral Charge and King George Stakes and Prix de l’Abbaye in 2017. In 2018 he won the Temple Stakes, a second King George Stakes. Then as a five-year-old in 2019 he won a second Temple Stakes and a third King George Stakes before producing his best performance of the season to take the Nunthorpe Stakes.
Sheikh Hamdan’s incredible Friday began when Alfaatik won the opening Sky Bet Handicap for John Gosden before Enbihaar landed the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes.
Minzaal mad three-from-three with a brilliant run in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes for trainer Owen Burrows.
The winner showed plenty of speed despite missing the break and looks another sprint star in the making for Sheikh Hamdan.
It was up to Godolphin, the operation owned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to halt the Sheikh hamdan juggernaut when Naval Crown stopbeat Tawleed to win the British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden Stakes.
Source — Gulf News