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Benbatl leads home Godolphin Al Rashidiya clean sweep


Four-year-old Dubawi colt Benbatl continued his fine start to 2018 as he was the impressive winner from Bay Of Poets and Bravo Zolo to provide Godolphin with a 1-2-3 in the nine-furlong G2 Al Rashidiya on turf at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 1 February.

Benbatl, who made a winning return for trainer Saeed bin Suroor over the same course and distance in the G3 Singspiel Stakes on 11 January, tacked over from stall seven to settle in fourth towards the outside after a furlong and a half under Oisin Murphy.

He started to take closer order at the top of the straight, went second and soon took up the running.

Benbatl went clear of his six rivals to score easily by three and three quarter lengths after being eased down close home. His time was 1m 48.42s on good turf.

Bay Of Poets (James Doyle), one of two Charlie Appleby-trained runners in the field, stayed on to go second a furlong from home, with stable companion Bravo Zolo (William Buick) rallying to snatch third, a further two lengths in arrears.

Saeed bin Suroor said: “I was very happy with the performance of Benbatl tonight and he remains unbeaten this year.

“We will keep the options open and talk to Sheikh Mohammed, but there is the G1 Jebel Hatta (9f, Meydan) to consider on Super Saturday (10 March).”

Oisin Murphy added: “Benbal gave me a very good feel and all credit to Saeed and the team at home because he was in great shape. We got a nice trip and I was on the best horse.

“He has a great kick because is a very good horse and he is bred to be very good.

“Horses like this make a young jockey’s career and there isn’t a jockey in the world who wouldn’t want to ride a horse like Benbatl. I am only 22 and very lucky.”