Benbatl cruises to victory in G2 Singspiel Stakes
Three-time G1 winner Benbatl made an impressive start to his six-year-old campaign when making all in the G2 Singspiel Stakes at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 9 January.
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Dubawi entire, successful in the same nine-furlong race in 2018 before taking the Dubai Turf on Dubai World Cup Night, broke well and was immediately sent to the front of the five-strong field by Christophe Soumillon.
Benbatl was briefly pressed by Famous Wolf approaching the straight before quickening away with a furlong and a half to race under a hands and heels ride. He was eased in the closing stages to score by a convincing four and three-quarter lengths over For The Top.
Saeed bin Suroor said: “Benbatl ran really well and I was very happy with him. He has shown plenty of speed in his races and was in front the whole way tonight, where he was travelling very well.
“There was a little question mark about the ground due to the rain but I couldn’t have been happier with the way Benbatl finished his race. We will keep the options open for the future - he was 90 per cent fit tonight and will improve for his first run of the season.”
Christophe Soumillon added: “Saeed wanted me to go handy with Benbatl, so I just let him jump out and he got to the front very easily.
“I was quite surprised to see somebody chasing me on the turn because the pace was quite good, not too slow, and I thought ‘what is going on here?’ My horse had a good blow before that and, although we started racing a bit earlier, he dominated the race.
“He ran a bit fresh, but it is nice step to build on and a good start. Today was more like a morning gallop on his own, whereas next time we will hopefully have the chance to get some cover.
“We knew today he was the best horse in the field and probably Dubai at the moment. It is a great return and he gave me a very nice impression at the end of the race.
“He has a very low action, which is why he doesn’t like soft or heavy ground on grass. It is quite difficult to know whether a horse will handle dirt until you try. It is not an easy question to answer, but given the way he gallops on turf, I would say he is better on that.”