Godolphin's Benbatl unlikely to be a part of the spring carnival

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Benbatl is unlikely to return to Australia this year – with targets in Canada and America mooted.

Saeed bin Suroor’s globetrotter won a Group One Down Under last year before having a crack at Winx in the Cox Plate.

He ultimately came off second best in that encounter, and has been given plenty of time to get over those exertions.

“After he went to Australia, we gave him a break because he’d had a hard season,” said Bin Suroor.

“He’d run in Dubai, England, Germany and Australia.

“He’s back in training, and we’ll start looking for races for him in September time. He could start off in England – but there are races abroad for him in Europe.

“We’ll keep all his options open, but I don’t think we’ll take him back out to Australia this year. We might have some others for Australia this year.

“I think it’s more likely we’ll look at Canada or America for him. We’ll see how he is going – so far he is moving well, looks healthy and is working really nicely.”

Bin Suroor also has an update on Royal Marine, a Group One winner last season but who has been bitterly disappointing this term.

“Royal Marine has been gelded,” said the Newmarket trainer.

“He’s been disappointing. He just isn’t showing what he showed last year.

“We took him to Dubai and thought he might not have liked the dirt – but (then) he disappointed in the Guineas and in France.

“I still believe he has the class – his form is in the book.”

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German return in the mix for Godolphin's Old Persian

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Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby is considering a return to Germany for Old Persian after he finished a close up third in Sunday’s Grosser Preis von Berlin at Hoppegarten.

Winner of the Sheema Classic in Dubai, Old Persian was having his first outing since disappointing in the Coronation Cup at Epsom.

Sent off favourite, Old Persian was beaten a length and a short-head by French King and Mark Johnston’s Communique.

“A bit more pace in the race would definitely have helped Old Persian,” said Appleby.

“He has run steadily and travelled well into the race, but just got found out for a bit of toe at the finish.

“However, it was his first run for a couple of months and it was a nice performance. We could come back to Germany with him next month (Grosser Preis von Baden) and he is a nice horse going into the autumn.”

Stablemate Line Of Duty filled the same spot in Deauville’s Prix Jacques le Marois behind Ken Condon’s Romanised.

The Breeders’ Cup winner ran his best race of the season after disappointing in the Dante and the Derby.

“I was delighted with Line Of Duty and we are back on track with him,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com.

“Prior to this he had showed very good form over a mile, most notably when winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. This was his first start back at a mile this year and he has put up another solid performance.

“We will look at keeping at around a mile for the moment. More importantly, some cut in the ground will hopefully see a bit more improvement from him.”

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Charlie Appleby targeting Royal Lodge with unbeaten Al Dabaran

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Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby has earmarked the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket as a potential target later in the season for the unbeaten Al Dabaran.

The Newmarket handler feels the mile Group Two contest on September 28 is the type of test that will play to the strengths of the Dubawi colt.

Al Dabaran backed up his winning debut on the July course in June when taking a step up in class in his stride with victory in a Listed event at Ascot last month.

Appleby said: “We are probably looking at something like the Royal Lodge for Al Dabaran, as that sort of test will suit him.

“He did well to win at Ascot as the seven furlongs would have been on the short side for him. These mile events in the autumn will be his gig.

“He has come out of the last race well.”

Initially intending to bide his time with Al Dabaran following his debut victory, Appleby felt it was worth rolling the dice again at Ascot after being impressed with his work at home.

He added: “We sat on the fence after his first run at Newmarket and I didn’t want to make any bold decisions where he was going.

“He came out of that so well and at the entry stage of the Ascot race it looked like he would be competitive in it from what we saw at home.

“I’m not saying it surprised us, as he is doing well, but hopefully there will be more improvement further down the line with time and the step up in trip.”

Appleby feels the Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes at York later this month may come too soon for Lazuli, who provided William Buick with his first winner back following a spell on the sidelines when making a winning debut at Newmarket on Friday.

He said: “First and foremost it was great to have William race-riding again and it was nice to give him his first winner back.

“In respects to Lazuli I was very pleased with what I saw as he travelled well and showed a nice gear change and he picked up well.

“The Gimcrack may just come too soon for him and we may plot a course elsewhere, but he is a horse that hopefully can run at Pattern level later on.”

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