Jim Crowley’s ride is odds-on in the big race at Royal Ascot today, but he wasn’t getting much support from Paddy, Frank Hickey and Ruby Walsh when they previewed the King’s Stand in the latest episode of out From The Horse’s Mouth Podcast.
“When he’s good he’s absolutely brilliant,” Frank said, “You could probably say he could run as well as last year and win this but there isn’t that much pace on here looking at it. It might just leave him having to do his own donkey work which could make him, potentially, a little bit vulnerable.”
Ruby admitted he isn’t a fan of Battaash and described the inconsistent sprinter as ‘Marmite’.
“He’s 0 from 3 at Ascot,” he explained, “You either love him or you’re against him. I think Battaash is a little bit like Marmite. I just think he’s a bit in and out. He’s so quick on fast tracks like Goodwood and York but he’s boiled over on Ascot once or twice.
“I know there’ll be no crowd there but sprinters are on the knife-edge all the time and I’m just probably not in the Battaash camp. But, anyone that is, I most certainly wouldn’t put them off backing him. I personally would be against him.”
Paddy was less down on the favourite but revealed he was backing a rival in the 15.35 in the shape of Glass Slippers who is getting better with age.
“It’s going to be fast ground which is going to suit Battaash, but in 5f sprints, even group 1s like this, you do need stuff to happen in your favour. The difference between a Group 1 and a Group 2 is probably less than a second, there’s nothing in it.
“If Battaash is able to drop right then he should probably win it, but he’s odds on so I think I’ll take a chance on something at a bigger price.
“I think Glass Slippers is a really improving sprinter and sprinters do improve a lot with age. He is really on the up and could be very good. He’s already a group 1 winner and I think he’s worth a go against the favourite.”
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