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Benbatl back with a bang in G2 Joel Stakes


Three-time G1 winner Benbatl made an exciting return to action with a comprehensive all-the-way success in the G2 Joel Stakes over a mile at Newmarket, UK, on Friday, 27 September.

The five-year-old Dubawi horse, off the course since chasing home Winx in the G1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, Australia, in October, broke smartly under Oisin Murphy and soon opened up a length and a half advantage over his five rivals.

Benbatl travelled powerfully and kicked on with a furlong and a half to race, readily quickening further clear before being eased near the line to beat King Of Comedy by five lengths in 1m 35.60s on good ground.

His trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “Benbatl had been working really well and he showed his class in his final piece of work before this race. We gave him a break after Australia because last year was a hard season for him and he ran in many races.

“I talked to Sheikh Mohammed and we decided to wait until the autumn, so we gave Benbatl time and didn’t push him in the summer. He needed the race today and, luckily, he won well.

“He is a solid horse, who always tries really hard, and we want to see something good from him in the future. The way he shows his class, we will be looking for more big races for him.

“We will keep the options open. I will speak with Sheikh Mohammed next week but we are looking for another G1 race now.

“He could head to Champions Day at Ascot (Saturday, 19 October) for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1m) or the Champion Stakes (1m 2f) or he may head back out to Germany. More likely, we will take him back to Dubai and run him in the big races there again.”

Oisin Murphy said: “It was a super training performance from Saeed bin Suroor and everyone connected with the horse to get him back. That was a brilliant performance.

“You can go a mile or 10 furlongs with him and he has loads of class. I am delighted to be back on board – I haven’t slept much this week with excitement.

“There was no pressure on today as this was only a prep run. He didn’t get a smack and was electric, it was a fantastic feeling.”