Battaash given Flying Five entry as Charlie Hills outlines his options

Upgraded Curragh heat a possible aim for Ascot runner-up

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Battaash could travel to Ireland later this summer for the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.

The five-furlong contest will carry Group One status for the first time this year and has unsurprisingly attracted a strong entry of 31 sprinters.

After cutting out much of the running, the Charlie Hills-trained Battaash was eventually reeled in by Charlie Appleby’s Blue Point in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot last month and the two could do battle again on September 16.

Hills said: “Blue Point is a good horse and has some of the best form around. I was really proud of the way Battaash ran at Royal Ascot. You can’t win them all and there are lots of nice races for him.

“He got a flyer at Ascot and missed the break at Haydock the time before, so he was more on his game. Ascot is a very hard track to make all the running. There were lots of good horses in there making their moves from midway and he probably ran his best between the three and two-furlong pole.

“I will speak to Sheikh Hamdan (owner) and Angus (Gold, racing manager) and make a plan. There is the King George at Goodwood, the Nunthorpe at York and the Flying Five in Ireland as well.”

The Flying Five Stakes is one of four Group One events on the second day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend.

The Goffs Vincent O’Brien Stakes has been dominated by Aidan O’Brien in recent years and the Ballydoyle maestro is responsible for 30 of the 87 initial entries, including Coventry Stakes third Sergei Prokofiev.

Jim Bolger, who claimed the Group One race last year with Verbal Dexterity, has nine entries, while Martyn Meade’s Coventry Stakes runner-up Advertise is another notable contender.

The Mark Johnston-trained Main Edition, winner of the Albany Stakes last time out, is among 81 entries received for the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes.

A strong O’Brien squad includes Sunday’s Grangecon Stud Stakes victor So Perfect.

Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Alpha Centauri is the headline name among the entries for the Coolmore Fastnet Matron Stakes, which takes place 24 hours earlier at Leopardstown.

The Jessica Harrington-trained three-year-old, who added to her Classic success with victory in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, is one of 44 possibles for the Group One one-mile contest.

Last year’s winner Hydrangea is one of 13 entries for O’Brien, long with the likes of recent Ribblesdale winner Magic Wand and Lockinge scorer Rhododendron.

There are 15 British contenders including the Marco Botti-trained Aljazzi, winner of this year’s Duke Of Cambridge Stakes, and Sunday’s Pretty Polly victor Urban Fox from the yard of William Haggas.

Battaash given Flying Five entry as Charlie Hills outlines his options
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