Godolphin’s master trainer Saeed Bin Suroor is predicting that Australia’s super star mare Winx is in for a battle when she lines up against the English raider Benbatl in the Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on Saturday.
Winx scored her twenty-eighth straight win and won her twenty-first Group 1 race with a tough win in the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 6.
Winx is marked at $1.22 to stretch her winning streak to twenty-nine and make it four straight Cox Plate wins in a row but Saeed Bib Suroor is confident that Chris Waller’s champion mare will be in for a fight up against his Multiple Group 1 winner.
“I have a lot of respect for Winx, she is a superstar, she’s the best in Australian history,” Saeed said.
“But my horse is really well, he worked good yesterday and he’s in great form.”
Benbatl claimed his third Group 1 win on Australian soil when he held off another Godolphin trained horse, the Charlie Appleby trained Blair House, for a nose win in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 13.
Benbatl had previously won the Group 1 US$6m DP World Dubai Turf (1800m) at Meydan in Dubai on March 31 and the Group 1 €155,000 Grosser Dallmayr Preis Bayerisches Zuchtrennen (2012m) at Munich in Germany on July 29.
“The plan from January in Dubai was to take this horse to Australia,” Saeed said.
“When Benbatl won in Dubai in March I knew he was going to be good and we took him to Germany and he won another G1.”
Saeed Bin Suroor also saddled up Best Solution to win last Saturday’s Group 1 $5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield.
Winx has drawn barrier six in the eight horse Cox Plate field with Hugh Bowman in the saddle again while Benbatl will jump from gate three for England based Irish jockey Oisin Murphy.
Benbatl has had some support in the Cox Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au and has firmed in from $9 to $8.50 on Wednesday afternoon while last year’s runner up Humidor is on the third line of betting at $16, out from $13.