Fabulous four-timer for Sheikh Hamdan at York

Battaash, Enbihaar and Minzaal lead the charge
Jim Crowley pushes out BATTAASH to make it back-to-back victories in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes and complete a four-timer on the day for Sheikh Hamdan

BATTAASH took the starring role in a superb four-timer for His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum at the York Ebor Festival on August 21.

The brilliant sprinter, trained by Charlie Hills and partnered once again by Jim Crowley, battled bravely to land the Nunthorpe on ground that was looser than ideal.

The son of DARK ANGEL was notching his 12th black-type success and the fourth at the highest level.

“He’s an amazing horse and we’re lucky to have him about,” said Crowley.

“He had to dig very deep as the second was very hard to pass and conditions were tough. He stuck his neck out and wanted it.”

BATTAASH was bred by Ballyphilip Stud out of ANNA LAW, a half-sister to BIRD KEY – a daughter of CADEAUX GENEREUX who is the dam of high-class sprinter and Nunnery Stud stallion TASLEET.

Earlier on the York card, MINZAAL suggested he could be the next celebrity sprinter to carry Sheikh Hamdan’s famous blue and white silks with an impressive two-length victory in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes.

“He was fantastic,” said Crowley after the race. “He was cantering at the two-furlong marker and he’s the most chilled out character you’ll find. Owen Burrows has done a great job with him and he’s a lovely horse.

“He’s very relaxed and the Middle Park could be his main target for the rest of the year.”

Bred by Ringfort Stud, MINZAAL is by MEHMAS out of PARDOVEN, a half-sister to the useful trio DILSHAAN’S PRIZE, FIREBET and SEEKING THE PRIZE.

At the other end of the distance spectrum, ENBIHAAR showed class and courage to win the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup over two miles and half a furlong.

The five-year-old REDOUTE’S CHOICE mare, trained by John Gosden, has been a fine flagbearer for Shadwell. She had already taken four other Group 2 contests – the Lancashire Oaks, Park Hill Stakes and two runnings of the Lillie Langtry Stakes.

“She’s so tough and stayed very well,” said Crowley. “Credit must go to Sheikh Hamdan as he’s kept her in training and it’s so great she’s been able to repay the faith we’ve all shown in her.

“It was a war up the straight. Mark Johnston’s horses are very hard to get past, so all credit to her. She’s a super mare.”

ENBIHAAR was bred by Haras du Mezeray and is a half-sister to smart pair KING BOLETE and SILENT ATTACK out of CHANTERELLE, a half-sister to Prix Marcel Boussac heroine AMONITA.

Sheikh Hamdan’s other winner at York on the day was ALFAATIK, who was sent out by John Gosden to strike in the competitive 12-furlong handicap that opened the card.

The four-year-old SEA THE STARS gelding was bred by Massimo Parri out of Listed winner BIZ BAR, making him a half-brother to Italian Derby hero BIZ THE NURSE and fellow Italian stakes scorers BIZ HEART, BIZ POWER and MISTERIOUS BOY.

The fabulous four-timer at York continues a fine season for Sheikh Hamdan, during which he was crowned leading owner at Royal Ascot with six winners at the meeting.

MOHAATHER, NAZEEF and TAWKEEL have also won Group 1 races in 2020 in addition to BATTAASH.