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Baattaah delivers in record style and Stradivarius goes the distance once more

Fri 23 Aug 2019

Battaash finally destroyed the theory the course at York did not suit when he broke the course record in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes.

Only fourth in the last two runnings of the five-furlong showpiece, the Charlie Hills-trained gelding showed he was now grown up at the age of five as he brought back memories of another horse owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Dayjur covered the minimum distance in 56.16 seconds when winning the Nunthorpe in 1990 and it was finally lowered by the ultra-speedy but unpredictable Battaash. Setting a new standard time of 55.90 seconds, the opposition never got a look in.

All roads will now led to the Prix de l’Abbaye which Battaash won in 2017.

From sprinters to stayers, and Stradivarius did what Stradivarius does when continuing his domination of the division by winning the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup for trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori.

Victory over his old adversary Dee Ex Bee secured a £1million bonus from Weatherbys Hamilton for the second year running.

Threat had the form in the book thanks to finishing second in the Coventry and Richmond Stakes and duly justified favouritism in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes.

There was no way he could have been as impressive in his Group Two as his Richard Hannon-trained stablemate Mums Tipple had been in the sales race on Thursday, but he did it in good style and is a possible 2000 Guineas contender.

Roger Varian’s Molatham, who finished second to Mums Tipple on his debut, went one better in the British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Stakes to give Sheikh Hamdan and Crowley a double.

Pogo ensured Hills had a brace with a narrow victory in the Nationwide Accident Repair Services Handicap under Kieran Shoemark, while Tamreer was a shock 33-1 winner of the Sky Bet Handicap to give trainer Roger Fell his 52nd success of a lucrative season.

Picture of the day

Frankie Dettori delights the crowd with his customary flying dismount after the victory of Stradivarius in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup
Frankie Dettori delights the crowd with his customary flying dismount after the victory of Stradivarius in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup

Quote of the day

Fantastic. All the chat saying he doesn’t like York and he’s broken the track record, and that’s Dayjur’s track record as well Charlie Hills

Performance of the day

Jim Crowley celebrates winning the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes following a sensational effort by Baataash
Jim Crowley celebrates winning the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes following a sensational effort by Baataash

Battaash was at his brilliant best in the Nunthorpe as he laid to rest the feeling he could not act at York. Fittingly he broke the five-furlong track record previously held by Dayjur and appropriately Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, whose colours were sported by both horses, was on hand to witness this incredible performance.

Ride of the day

The dream team of Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori win the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup
The dream team of Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori win the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup

John Gosden described Frankie Dettori’s ride on Stradivarius in the Lonsdale Cup as a “peach” and so it was on a horse who has now run in excess of 18 miles in winning his last nine races. After his emotional success on Enable in the Yorkshire Oaks 24 hours earlier, Dettori was the happiest man on the Knavesmire, taking his share of a £1million bonus for a second time.

What’s next

Max Dynamite (right) is among those chasing the first £1million Sky Bet Ebor at York on Saturday
Max Dynamite (right) is among those chasing the first £1million Sky Bet Ebor at York on Saturday

After three enthralling days on the Knavesmire, the focus turns to the inaugural £1million Sky Bet Ebor. The aim of the sponsors is to make the historical York handicap into the Melbourne Cup of the Northern Hemisphere. They look to be going in that direction judged by the quality of the field, which includes Max Dynamite and Prince of Arran, who have both been placed in the ‘race that stops a nation’. Laurens, dubbed the ‘queen of Yorkshire’, will bid to match the Yorkshire Oaks exploits of Enable, the undoubted empress of the turf, when she struts her stuff in the Sky Bet City of York Stakes.

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