Hills hopeful as Battaash eyes up King's Stand

Sprinter ‘looks a picture’ after his Temple Stakes victory

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Charlie Hills is looking forward to seeing Battaash return to Royal Ascot for a second tilt at the King’s Stand Stakes.

The five-year-old is widely regarded as Europe’s most potent five-furlong sprinter on his day, but he had to make do with minor honours behind the Charlie Appleby-trained Blue Point in Berkshire last summer.

He was also slightly disappointing on his final two outings of last season, in the Nunthorpe at York and when defending his crown in the Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp.

However, he looked better than ever when making a successful reappearance in the Temple Stakes at Haydock last month – and Hills reports his charge to be firing on all cylinders, with the showpiece meeting just a fortnight away.

He said: “Battaash came out of Haydock as well as he’s ever come out of any race, to be honest.

“He’s in really good form and looks a picture. He seems to be in a good place mentally and physically this year, and is really enjoying himself.

“There’s good timing between Haydock and Ascot, so we’re looking forward to that.”

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