Battaash team ponder retiring star sprinter

Battaash team ponder retiring star sprinter

Connections of Battaash are set for discussions on the future of the brilliant sprinter, with retirement appearing a distinct possibility.

The seven-year-old could finish only seventh in his bid for a fifth successive King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood on Friday, and Angus Gold, racing manager for Shadwell Estate, will now consult with Sheikha Hissa on Battaash’s future.

The Charlie Hills-trained gelding made a belated return to action this term when fourth at Royal Ascot, after suffering an injury during the winter, and connections could now call time on his career.

Gold said: “Jim (Crowley, jockey) said he really didn’t like the ground but that was not the reason he was beaten.

“The horse has done remarkably well to get back to the races and it took him a long time to come right after the fracture.

Battaash wins the Nunthorpe Stakes at York last August

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Battaash’s last victory came in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York last August

“Jim said ‘I had a ride for a few yards’ and there comes a time for all of us.

“I shall speak to the owner tonight, as the last thing we want to do is abuse him.

“After all the problems we’ve had, why would we go on now?

“She (Sheikha Hissa) spoke to me at Ascot and said she didn’t want to abuse this horse, so I suspect there will be an announcement forthcoming.”

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