A - Z Runners HORSE RACING FIXTURES AND RESULTS
HORSE RACING FEATURE
Temple Stakes Preview: Taash has outgrown his rivals
Nick Seddon previews the Temple Stakes at Haydock Park on Saturday and picks out his best bet.
The Temple Stakes often gives off the vibe of a Group 1 masquerading as a Group 2, mainly due to the calibre of runners that arrive to take their chance in it. It generally serves as a useful source for Royal Ascot clues, a possible calling point for the reappearing Battaash, Timeform’s joint highest-rated European horse in training on 136 alongside Cracksman – a big contrast to his BHA rating of 123.
Battaash enjoyed a stellar campaign last year, in which he rapidly became one of the best five furlong horses of recent times, winning four of his five starts and breaking the 130-barrier on Timeform ratings when strolling to success in the Group 2 King George Stakes at Goodwood. Temperament remains a niggling issue with him, as shown when getting too worked up before finishing fourth in the Nunthorpe at York, but he is an outstanding sprinter who signed off last term with a first Group 1 success in authoritative fashion in the Prix de l’Abbaye on Arc day at Chantilly.
Battaash is 8 lb clear on weight-adjusted ratings for this, and though he is conceding race fitness to all but one of the 15 declared at the five day stage, he produced a then career-best effort to win on reappearance last season. It is very difficult to look past him for win purposes and with the race likely to cut up, anything at Evens or better is worth taking.