Benbatl Maintains Godolphin's Fine Record In The Turf

Benbatl gave His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Godolphin operation itssecond winner of the evening by repelling a strong challenge from Japan in the Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World.

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 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 Japan-trained Real Steel, the 2016 winner, and Deirdre dead-heating for third prize.

Murphy said: “Last time I gave him a bad ride, so it was very good of Sheikh Mohammed and Saeed to keep me on him. Today he had a good trip and showed his class.”

Bin Suroor added, “I thought he was my best of a winner on the evening, and am glad to have been proved right by a very good horse.

Benbatl, a son of Dubawi, who ran the 1800m in 1:46.02, fairly close to the race record of 1: 45.54, 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.

Race Quotes:

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor (Benbatl, 1st) – “We saw last year that he is a good horse and I am so happy with him. He was weak as a 2-year-old 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 3 and Group 2 and now he has won his Group 1, 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.”

Jockey Oisin Murphy (Benbatl, 1st) – “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 3-year-old 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 slow last time and the pace was slow so I couldn’t come back and I ended up wide and covered extra ground. It was just very good of Sheikh Mohammed and Saeed (bin Suroor) 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.”

Trainer Yasuo Tomomichi (Vivlos, 2nd) – “Was a bit slow out of the gate but she race well in the end and closed well. She ran really well.”

Jockey Cristian Demuro (Vivlos, 2nd) – “The trainer asked me to keep her behind because she can pull too much. She relaxed behind and had a good turn of foot. I’m very happy she’s coming back to form.”

Trainer Yoshito Yahagi (Real Steel, 3rd Dead Heat) – “He ran well today. The winner was just too strong, but he ran well.”

Jockey Mickael Barzalona (Real Steel, 3rd Dead Heat) – “He ran well and we had he ran a very good race. I think he still has something in him and should improve next time out.”

Jockey Christophoe Lemaire (Deirdre, 3rd Dead Heat) – “I really thought we were going to win as we were going down the stretch since the pace fitted her well but the winner was just too strong."

Jockey Pat Cosgrave (Promising Run, 4th) – “He ran all the way to the line, I couldn’t fault him.”

Jockey Yasunari Iwata (Crocosmia, 7th) – “She was able to keep her rhythm during the trip and did not give up at all to the finish. She is improving a lot.”

Jockey Joao Moreira (Neorealism, 8th) – “Unfortunately he was not in his best mind at the jump. He pulled a little bit harder during the race and that caused the finish. He wasn't able to deliver his best just because of his mental state. He was just too tense.”

Jockey Seamie Heffernan (War Decree, 9th) – “I had a lovely trip. He's shows us plenty at home, and he's disappointed on every other track. But he did show us plenty at home.”

Trainer Aidan O’Brien (War Decree, 9th and Lancaster Bomber, 11th) – “Little bit disappointing. Lancaster Bomber is better than that form. War Decree ran fairly well.”

Jockey William Buick (Blair House, 10th) – “I had to drop him in from a wide draw and he ran OK.”

Jockey Silvestre De Sousa (Championship, 15th) – “He’s had his problems, but it was a good run.”