Benbatl stars in G1 Dubai Turf


The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Benbatl ran away with the G1 Dubai Turf over nine furlongs on turf, the second Godolphin triumph during 2018 Dubai World Cup Night at Meydan, UAE, on Saturday, 31 March.

The four-year-old Dubawi bounced back from defeat by another Godolphin runner, Blair House, in the G1 Jebel Hatta Sponsored By Emirates Airline over course and distance on 10 March, going down by three quarters of a length.

Benbatl’s jockey Oisin Murphy took the blame for that second and today made no mistakes, being prominent before taking the lead with a furlong and half remaining and going clear.

Benbatl ran on well to beat three Japanese challengers, with Vivlos three and a half lengths back in second and a neck more to dead-heaters Deidre and Real Steel.

It was an impressive victory by Benbatl in 1m 46.02s and Saeed bin Suroor, celebrating his sixth Dubai Turf success, said: “We saw last year, when Benbatl won his maiden on debut, that it was a good start for him.

“Even before he ran, he showed that he had class but was weak, so we looked after him.

“He won his G3 at Royal Ascot and then we brought him out here to win a G3 and a G2 race at this year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival.

"Now he is a G1 winner and it is great to see how Benbatl has kept improving all of the time. “We might take him tack to Royal Ascot for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1, 1m 2f, June 20) and that could be his next target, but we will give him a break now and an easy time.”

Oisin Murphy explained: “I am very fortunate to ride such a talented horse.

“Things went wrong in the Jebel Hatta, but thanks to Saeed and H H Sheikh Mohammed for letting me retain the ride. He had a good trip today and showed his class.

“He jumped slowly last time and the pace was slow, so I couldn’t come back. I ended up wide, covered extra ground and didn’t get into a good rhythm.

“Everything fell right today. I travelled into the race very strongly and Benbatl picked up great.

“He is a very talented colt, who has been managed very well, and I think the best is yet to come.”

Benbatl started 2018 with two easy victories over nine furlongs at Meydan, scoring on his seasonal return in the G3 Singspiel Stakes on 11 January and readily taking the G2 Al Rashidiya on 1 February.