Godolphin’s international Group 1 winner Benbatl is expected to take plenty of improvement from his run in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor said that Benbatl will need the run in the weight for age Ladbrokes Stakes to tighten him up for his clash with Winx in the Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 27.
“He has been away from the racecourse for some time,” Saeed bin Suroor said.
“He hasn’t raced since the Juddmonte International at York in August, so he needs a run before moving on to the Cox Plate.”
“Pat Cosgrave is flying down to ride Benbatl at Caulfield. The reports I have received about the horse are good. We are very happy with him, and Saturday’s race should set him up nicely for the Cox Plate.”
Benbatl won the first of his two Group 1 races when he took out the Group 1 US$6m DP World Dubai Turf (1800m) at Meydan in Dubai on March 31 and then two starts later won the Group 1 €155,000 Bayerisches Zuchtrennen (2012m) at Munich in Germany on July 21.
Benbatl has had one more run since his win in Germany for a fifth in the Group 1 £1,062,500 Juddmonte International Stakes (2063m) at York in England on August 22.
English based Irish jockey Pat Cosgrave will fly out from England to ride Benbatl who has drawn the inside gate in the eleven horse Ladbrokes Stakes field.
The Godolphin royal blue colours will also be carried by the Charlie Appleby trained Blair House who is marked as a $13 chance for the Ladbrokes Stakes.
English jockey James Doyle flew out with Cosgrave and will ride Blair House who has drawn barrier ten.
Blair House is also a Group 1 winner three starts back in the US$300,000 Jebel Hatta at Meydan in Dubai on March 10 and Appleby expects the six year old to find better luck in the Ladbrokes Stakes after a luckless fourth to Homesman in the Group 1 $750,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 30.
“His first run in Australia was good in the circumstances,” Appleby said.
“He missed the break and was near-last early, yet he finished off his race well, despite being checked in the straight.
“This is a tough race, but he is ready to step up.”