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Battaash and Glass Slippers on course to run at Royal Ascot

Tue 18 May 2021

Battaash is on course to defend his King’s Stand Stakes crown at Royal Ascot after showing his well-being following an injury setback sustained over the winter.

And he could face Glass Slippers at the Royal Meeting, as she is heading directly to Ascot after connections opted to miss this weekend’s Temple Stakes at Haydock.

Battaash returned to Charlie Hills’ stables in Lambourn last month from his owners Shadwell Stud, having recovered from a small fracture.

Hills has been pleased with the seven-year-old and is looking forward to seeing what Shadwell’s number two jockey Dane O’Neill says after he rides the horse in work on Wednesday.

“Battaash has been back with us a few weeks now. He’s been in training and did a nice swinging canter last week. We’re very happy with him,” said Hills on Tuesday.

“He should get to Ascot. I can’t see any reason why he wouldn’t.

“Dane O’Neill is coming to sit on him tomorrow morning. He knows him very well so it will be interesting to see what he says.”

Glass Slippers enjoyed a successful four-year-old campaign last season, culminating with victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland in November – the first European-trained runner to win that race.

A prior win in the Group One Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes qualified the bay for the latter race, a run that was bookended by second-placed performances in both the King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood, behind Battaash, and Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp.

Saturday’s Temple Stakes had been suggested for the five-year-old’s seasonal debut, but Kevin Ryan has confirmed she will be seen next at Royal Ascot.

“We’re skipping the Temple Stakes,” the trainer said. “We’ll go straight to Ascot, or at least that’s the plan.”

Glass Slippers is entered in both the King’s Stand, a race she finished fifth in when beginning her season last year, and also holds an entry for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes over six furlongs.

“She’s in both races and we’ll decide a bit closer to the time which to go for,” her trainer said.

The mare is eligible to defend her Breeders’ Cup crown in November as the only age restriction on the race is that entrants must be over three years old, but Ryan will focus on her early campaign before planning another trip to the States.

“We’ll worry about that (the Breeders’ Cup) when we get to the end of the year,” he said. “We’ll think about her targets in Europe first, but she’s in great nick at home.”

Royal Ascot also looks the destination for Mutasaabeq after he lost his unbeaten record in the 2000 Guineas.

The Invincible Spirit colt is set to drop back to seven furlongs for the Group Three Jersey Stakes.

Mutasaabeq had won both his starts over that trip in highly-promising fashion to warrant a run in the Newmarket Classic, for which he was sent off joint third-favourite at 6-1.

However, he could not justify that support and finished seventh behind Poetic Flare.

“He’s absolutely fine. He came out of the race in good form. He’s looking well and training nicely,” said Hills.

“I’ll speak to (racing mangers) Angus (Gold) and Richard (Hills) to draw up a plan, but I’d say the Jersey looks favourite.”

Mutasaabeq also holds an entry in the Group One St James’s Palace Stakes over a mile at the Royal meeting.

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