William Hill ambassador Charlie Hills pays tribute to the recently retired multiple Group 1-winning sprinter, Battaash.

Never an easy decision 

Heading into Friday, we were a bit concerned about the ground.

Conditions weren’t ideal for him, and neither was the draw as he was racing a little bit away from where the action unfolded on the stand’s side.

He travelled as well as he normally does but he just couldn’t pick up and get out of that ground.

After the race, everyone connected to the horse had a discussion and it was decided now was a good time to retire him.

Of course it’s a sad day, but the great thing is that he gets to enjoy his retirement as a healthy horse.

It’s never an easy decision to make but it’s the right one.

Horse of a lifetime

Battaash was the horse of a lifetime. He meant absolutely everything to the yard.

Horses like him don’t come around too often. You don’t get many racing until seven on the Flat and certainly not in our stable.

To have him for so long meant he became very close to everyone.

I think the idea that he was a bit boisterous and buzzy was a bit of a myth really as he was a total softy at home.

He loved the attention, loved people and was about the easiest horse in the yard to handle. He was the ultimate professional in his work at home and always knew his job. He also knew he was good!

The one thing that made him stand out was his electric speed, and in particular his mid-race speed where he could just blow them apart.

I remember he worked once with Cotai Glory and afterwards we thought there must have been something wrong with Cotai, as this little horse (Battaash) just bolted past him.

Then there was the time we decided to have an overground scope on him after he made a bit of a noise when finishing fourth in the Nunthorpe and the car had to drive at 55mph to keep up with him!

In terms of the most memorable days, I think winning the Abbaye as a three-year-old was probably the most exciting.

It will be tough without him; he’ll be missed greatly by everyone.