Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor hoping Benbatl can rise to the challenge

Press Association Sport 17:15 19/10/2019
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Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor would love to see his stable star Benbatl register a first Group One success on British soil in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

The five-year-old won top-level prizes in Dubai, Germany and Australia in 2018 – before rounding off his campaign by chasing home the all-conquering mare Winx when she made history with a fourth victory in the Cox Plate.

Despite an 11-month absence, Benbatl looked better than ever when running out a hugely-impressive winner of the Joel Stakes at Newmarket three weeks ago, and Bin Suroor – bidding for a record sixth QEII success on Saturday – has been delighted with his charge since.

He said: “He worked well last Saturday – he’s in good condition and is ready to run. We are very happy and looking forward to Saturday. He’s a calm horse, who is very easy and straightforward to train.”

The one caveat concerning Benbatl is the prevailing testing conditions at the Berkshire track.

Bin Suroor plans to consult jockey Oisin Murphy after he has ridden James Fanshawe’s The Tin Man in the Qipco British Champions Sprint – which starts the stellar card – before confirming Benbatl’s participation.

“Our jockey will ride in the race (on the straight track) before, and tell us what he thinks,” the trainer added.

“The horse is in good form – he has won Group Ones in Dubai, Germany and Australia, and now he needs to win one in England.”

On the day he will be crowned champion jockey for the first time, Murphy is optimistic that Benbatl can give him further cause for celebration.

He said: “I had a big win in Dubai and a Group One in Germany on him. He had a bit of time off after the Cox Plate – but he bounced back, winning the Joel Stakes by five lengths at Newmarket.

“He’s a very special horse – he’s one of the best horses in the world.

“He’s rated 126, and I invite everyone to look at him at Ascot. He’s out of the ordinary.”

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Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor dreaming of Classic glory with unbeaten Military March

Press Association Sport 08:58 16/10/2019
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Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor is dreaming of Classic glory with his Autumn Stakes winner Military March.

The New Approach colt, out of the Bin Suroor-trained Group One-winning mare Punctilious, maintained his unbeaten record at Newmarket on Future Champions Day.

While he is likely to spend the winter in Dubai, he is not currently expected to race at the Carnival – with the 2000 Guineas and Derby in the pipeline next summer.

“He’s come out of the race well – he’s happy and fresh,” said Bin Suroor.

“He’s a big, strong horse – and it was nice the way he finished his race. He’s a horse for next year.

“He’ll go to Dubai, I think, but I’m not sure we’re going to run him on dirt. It depends what other horses we have.

“All the Classic races out there, the Guineas Trial, the Guineas and the Derby are all on dirt – so we’ll see what else we have.

“He’s a nice colt. He’s improved, because he was weak early. He had two months between his races and he improved a lot – he’s stronger.

“He’ll be coming back to England next year and look at the Classics and the Dante.”

Another unbeaten juvenile in the stable is the filly White Moonlight, who has also won both races this season – but she does have the Carnival on her agenda.

Bin Suroor said: “White Moonlight will go out to Dubai – because she is bred more for the dirt, being by Medaglia d’Oro.

“We’ll look at a trial and then the (UAE) Guineas for her before the Oaks. We’ll see if she’s good enough for the Derby or not.

“I’ve got some better two-year-olds this year than recently.”

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Godolphin's Pinatubo confirmed for Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket

Press Association Sport 17:30 07/10/2019
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Godolphin‘s Pinatubo is the star name among 11 juveniles confirmed for the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

The Shamardal colt has carried all before him so far this season – progressing from a low-key debut win at Wolverhampton to landing the Woodcote at Epsom, the Chesham at Royal Ascot and the Vintage at Goodwood before a nine-length romp in the National Stakes in Ireland.

Charlie Appleby’s charge will be a warm order to confirm his status as champion two-year-old on the Rowley Mile this weekend – and the Newmarket handler has been pleased with his charge since his latest triumph at the Curragh.

He said: “He has come out of the National Stakes in good shape. As per usual, he has been straightforward at home and we are looking forward to the Dewhurst.

“I’d say we have frightened off most of the opposition, but from what we have seen at the races, he has been very impressive for all to see and has improved on each run.

“It was great to see Earthlight winning the Middle Park and he is there as one of the potential champion two-year-olds, but if Pinatubo wins the Dewhurst and I think that is signed, sealed and delivered – that he is the most exciting two-year-old we have seen this year.”

Aidan O’Brien has saddled six previous winners of the seven-furlong Group One and this year has five contenders – headed by the supplemented Wichita, who was an impressive winner of the Tattersalls Stakes over the Dewhurst course and distance last month.

He could be joined by stable companion Arizona – third behind Pinatubo in the National Stakes, having won the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot earlier in the year.
The Ballydoyle quintet is completed by Harpocrates, Monarch Of Egypt and Year Of The Tiger.

Molatham is an interesting contender for Roger Varian, having won the Convivial Maiden at York and beaten Wichita in the Flying Scotsman Stakes at Doncaster on his last two starts. He was narrowly beaten by Mums Tipple on his debut at Ascot.

The Clive Cox-trained Positive was no match for Pinatubo when runner-up at Glorious Goodwood, but could renew rivalry after a narrow victory in the Solario Stakes at Sandown.

Mark Johnston’s Iffraaz, Richard Hannon’s Mystery Power and the Charlie Hills-trained Royal Commando are the other hopefuls.

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