Benbatl leads home Godolphin 1-2 in Singspiel Stakes


Benbatl made an impressive start to his four-year-old season with a decisive victory over Emotionless in the nine-furlong G3 Singspiel Stakes at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 11 January.

The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Dubawi colt, successful in the G3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, raced keenly early on before settling behind the leaders in fourth of the 15 runners.

Benbatl was switched out to deliver his challenge at the top of the straight and readily forged clear of his rivals under Oisin Murphy after hitting the front a furlong and a half from home.

Emotionless (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle) stayed on well to take second with a furlong left but could not challenge Benbatl, who scored by two and a quarter lengths in 1m 46.99s on good turf.

Saeed bin Suroor commented: “Benbatl is an improving horse. We have always liked him and he looks better physically this year

“We will talk to Sheikh Mohammed but his main target could now be the Dubai Turf (G1, 9f, 31 March) on Dubai World Cup Night.”

Oisin Murphy added: “I was given an open book by Saeed – his team are very easy to ride for. I just wanted a bit of cover for Benbatl, then he picked up good and I could not pull him up.

“I think he is a very decent horse. That was a decent G3 field, but he is probably a bit better than them and to get the ride on him is fantastic.

“HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed is here and it is great to get the support off of Saeed.

“Benbatl was fifth in the King George on very soft ground. He is out of a Sheikh Ahmed mare called Nahrain, who appreciated good ground, and probably takes after her.

“You would imagine this four-year-old campaign could be a good one.”

Charlie Appleby said: “I am delighted with Emotionless and he will come on nicely for the run. We will probably have a look at stepping him up to a mile and a quarter for the Dubai Millennium Stakes (G3, 22 February)."