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27 Sep 2018
Issue Number: Issue 648
Seemar can only hope for another upward performance from North America
Dubai playing a key role in British racing, says Jockey Club boss
Busybody Tadhg looks to scale mountains after climbing Hills
Nass’ trial and error style seems to be working wonders for him
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Ben not need to Batl with star performance


The impressive Benbatl gave Sheikh Mohammed’s all conquering Godolphin operation a second winner of the evening by repelling a strong challenge from Japan in the 1800m Dubai Turf. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor was annexing the $6 million race, worth $3.6 million to the winner, for the sixth time, but it was a first from just three rides for jockey Oisin Murphy. After winning his first two races at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, Benbatl was beaten into second place behind his stablemate Blair House in the Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday, and Murphy blamed himself for the defeat. He made no mistake on the biggest occasion, settling Benbatl no worse than in fourth place, as Janoobi made the pace.

The leader had a four length advantage turning into the straight, but Murphy had moved into second spot and was well placed to make his move. Taking over at the 300m mark, Benbatl soon put daylight between himself and the rest of the field. Vivlos, last year’s winner, stayed on for second place, three and a quarter lengths behind the ready winner, with fellow Japanese challenger Real Steel, the 2016 winner, and compatriot, Deirdre, deadheating for third. Murphy said: “My trip was very good; the horse was in brilliant condition. I work hard in the mornings and I dream about riding horses like this. To get the opportunity is fantastic.

Saeed bin Suroor and his stable have done a good job with this horse. He only started his 3yo campaign this time last year and he’s come a long way in a short space of time. “Last time, I gave the horse a bad ride. He jumped badly last time and the pace was slow so I could not come back and I ended up wide and covered extra ground. It was just very good of Sheikh Mohammed and Saeed for giving me another chance on him. He’s very talented. Today he had a good trip, and he showed his class. I’m living the dream.”

Bin Suroor added: “We saw last year that he is a good horse and I am so happy with him. He was weak as a 2yo so we looked after him and he won his maiden well first time up. “He made a good start to his career that day and has kept on progressing. He has won his Group Three and Group Two, now he has won a Group One, which is great to see. “He will have a break now and then he will go for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.” Benbatl, a son of Dubawi, was bred by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stud, and to complete the family atmosphere on the night, the winning trophy was presented to Sheikh Mohammed’s daughter Sheikha Jalila.

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