Godolphin's Benbatl drawn in stall three as he faces Cox Plate clash with Winx

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Godolphin‘s Benbatl will start from stall three as he clashes with superstar Winx in Saturday’s Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

Saeed bin Suroor’s charge won the Group One Caulfield Stakes on his Australian debut on October 13 having already secured top-level successes in Dubai and Germany earlier in the year.

The 52-year-old Emirati told www.racing.com: “When he won in Dubai in March, the Group One Dubai Turf, he won it really well and that gave me the confidence to send him here.

“This year, physically, he looks a lot better. When he was two he was a little bit weak, it took him time to show, but I knew he was going to be something good.

“I looked after him, I didn’t want to rush him and then October time (last year) he started to show something, then I said I would keep him for this year.

“The last race for him in England was the Juddmonte and he was unlucky that day as the horse in behind him hit him and he had big cuts on both legs. He was really bleeding after the race and I think that is why he finished fifth.

“Bringing him here, he won one nicely but I don’t like to run the horse too quick.”

While Bin Suroor is full of hope, he is under no illusions as to the task Benbatl faces in taking on Winx, who comes into the race on the back of 28 successive victories and will be seeking a fourth Cox Plate win on the bounce.

He added: “I have a lot of respect for the filly, she’s a superstar and the best in Australian history.”

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Godolphin's Best Solution battles to brave Caulfield Cup success

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Best Solution will head for the Lexus Melbourne Cup in great heart after a tremendous performance in winning the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup.

The Saeed bin Suroor-trained colt was landing his third Group One event in a row and dug very deep to just prevail from Homesman in the tightest of photo finishes.

Given a superb ride by Pat Cosgrave, the Godolphin-owned runner found things against him from the start, missing the break from his wide draw, but was coolly manoeuvred into a good position.

Kicking rounding the turn with two furlongs to run, Cosgrave’s mount answered every call as the challengers loomed large, and got the verdict by a short head.

The Cliffsofmoher (Cliffs Of Moher) was third for Aidan O’Brien, with the Andrew Balding-trained Duretto fourth.

Bin Suroor, who teamed up with Cosgrave to win the Ladbrokes Stakes with Benbatl last weekend, told Racing.com: “It was Sheikh Mohammed’s decision to send him to Australia after he won two Group Ones in Germany and it is a brilliant result for him.

“The horse is doing good and the Melbourne Cup is a big race, it’s another dream for us, but we will try.”

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Experience and form give Best Solution his Caulfield Cup chance

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Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor believes Best Solution has improved this year as he prepares to tackle the Caulfield Cup on Saturday.

The four-year-old has won all three of his races since the Meydan Carnival, twice at Group One level in Germany.

Bin Suroor has made a good start to the Spring Carnival Down Under, with Benbatl setting up a crack at Winx in the Cox Plate when winning the Group One Ladbrokes Stakes last weekend.

“I’m happy with Best Solution and how he has settled in to his new surroundings,” Bin Suroor told www.godolphin.com.

“The 2,400 metres (12 furlongs) of the Caulfield Cup is a big positive for him.

“He is a multiple Group One winner in Germany, who also won the Group Two Princess Of Wales’s Stakes on the July Course at Newmarket.

“He has improved this year, and I am very pleased with the way he has been finishing off his races.

“He’s ready to go.”

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