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‘I hate it! Until it’s over’: real life for grooms of superstar horses *H&H Plus*

It’s a privilege with huge responsibility to be in charge of a top-class horse. Kate Johnson finds out what it’s like tending to a superstar

Bob Grace, groom to champion sprinter Battaash, for Charlie Hills

“I hate it! Until it’s over, I really hate it!” says Bob Grace, when asked if he enjoys watching Battaash race. At least it’s quick; Battaash has been rated as the fastest horse in the world (he’s clocked 48.63mph).

The pressure is intense. So Bob is happy(ish) when he’s “reached the end of the walkway and the jockey’s gone to the start” and he’s much happier when Battaash is safely back and has hopefully won. But he’s happiest of all returning home and having a beer in the bath.

Bob doesn’t ride and has worked for Charlie Hills, and his father before that, for more than 30 years, and has looked after Battaash since he arrived as a headstrong two-year-old.

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