• September 19, 2018
    Last updated 1 minute ago

dubai world cup

Benbatl can shine on home turf

Godolphin quartet face strong international challenge in $6 million contest

Leslie Wilson Jr, Racing & Special Features Writer
13:21 March 30, 2018

Dubai: Godolphin handler Saeed Bin Surour has won the $6 million Dubai Turf (Group 1) sponsored by DP World the most number of times and looks poised to add to his imposing record of five wins by taking today’s strong renewal of the 1,800 metre turf showpiece.

Godolphin are represented by four contenders with Bin Surour’s Benbatl and Charlie Appleby’s Blair House being the front runners.

The duo have previously clashed over the same course and distance in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta Super Saturday, March 10, when Blair House did the better work in the final furlong to beat Benbatl by three-quarters of a length.

Obviously Benbatl is our main chance, but Promising Run is a course and distance winner who has thrived in Dubai It’s a very strong race with some excellent horses.”

 - Saeed Bin Surour | Trainer

Bin Suroor, who also saddles Promising Run and Leshlaa, said: “Benbatl is a very tough horse and I like him a lot.

“He has improved all the time since he arrived out in Dubai, winning a pair of G2 races and finishing second in the Jebel Hatta.

“The wide draw didn’t help him in the Jebel Hatta, when he raced on the outside of the field and didn’t look very comfortable throughout. He came to win his race but was beaten near the line,” he added.

“This is another big step for him, taking on some very strong opposition, but he heads into this race in good form. His latest piece of work went very well and I am hoping for a good run.

“Nine furlongs suits him very well and he has a good draw in stall five. He has kept improving, but now needs to show us more as this is a very good race.

I was delighted to see him get a Group 1 victory in the Jebel Hatta. This is a much tougher contest, with some high-class international runners.”

 - Charlie Appleby | Trainer

“Promising Run won her two races against fillies and ran well to finish fourth against the colts in the Jebel Hatta. This is another step up, but she looks really well in her condition at the moment,” said Bin Surour

“Leshlaa has done well out in Dubai and I have been pleased with his work at home. He won a good handicap earlier in the Carnival and we felt that he deserves to take his chance in the Dubai Turf.”

Commenting on Blair House’s chances Appleby said: “Blair House has really thrived out in Dubai this winter and I was delighted to see him get a G1 victory in the Jebel Hatta “This is a much tougher contest, with some high-class international runners, but he deserves to take his chance. He loves the course and could not be going into the race in better form.”

Among the overseas contenders, the Japanese-trained Neorealism looks a big threat to the Godolphin quartet.

Trainer by Noriyuki Hori, Neorealism has a very impressive record on the fast ground that he is likely to counter on Saturday. His best effort came at Sha Tin last April where he landed the QEII Cup (G1)

Given the fact that Japanese runners have won the last two renewals of this race, Real Steel and Vivlos are due the utmost respect as does Irish hope Lancaster Bomber.

GN Selections

1. Benbatl
2. Blair House
3. Neorealism