Benbatl back in Joel Stakes

Saeed bin Suroor is currently excited about seeing his steady star Benbatl create his return from almost a year on the sidelines in the Shadwell Joel Stakes.
The five-year-old won three times at Group 1 level at 2018 – prior to landing the Grosser Dallmayr Preis in October, running a brilliant winner of the Dubai Turf in Meydan out in March.
Benbatl hasn’t yet been viewed in action since chasing home Winx when the wonder-mare claimed an early success from the Cox Plate later in precisely the month, but has been reported to be in good shape for his Group Two return over the Rowley Mile.
“It’s his very first beginning of the year. However he is in good shape, and we are excited about watching him run,” explained Newmarket coach bin Suroor.
“His job has been great, and that he constantly shows his class in the evenings. His very final piece of work on the Watered Gallop on Racecourse facet was great, and we are content.
“A mile is a great excursion for his first run, and we are going to see how we proceed. I think this race will be needed by him, but I am hoping for a good run.
“I want to see how he runs and he comes out of this race before making any plans, however, choices are open for him at Group One level”
Benbatl faces a far from simple task on his comeback, using all the John Gosden-trained King placing a standard.
When winning at Sandown at the spring Kingman’s boy looked every inch a colt in the making – which then he was just refused by Circus Maximus if a minute at the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
He had been last seen completing a close-up fourth at the Juddmonte International at York, and also connections are currently hoping he could take advantage of having his sights lowered a colour.
Hugo Lascelles, racing manager to King Of Comedy’s owner-breeder Lady Bamford, said:”We expect it’s a good opportunity for him. He is working with him going into the race and John is happy.
“He set up a good performance in York, and the stiff mile in Newmarket should suit him nicely.
“We’re hopeful, but you’ll find one or two good horses up against him, so it won’t be a walkover, that is for sure.
“He hasn’t won a Group race yet, so we’ll take it one step at a time, however when all goes well on Friday we expect he will then return to Ascot for the QEII.”
The UAE Jewel is a winner – before after up on Guineas from the Proper Newmarket Stakes weekend making a hugely impressive debut in the Wood Ditton.
The bill of roger Varian examines the water Group Two degree onto his return to action.
Varian stated:”It resembles a powerful renewal of this Joel Stakes, but the timing of the race matches nicely for UAE Jewel, and it ought to be a great starting point to get his career back on course.
“I was in 2 minds about running over this mile trip or waiting for something above a mile and a quarter – and that he would not want too much rain, because he is a fast-ground horse.
“He needed a drawback when we were ordering him for the Prix du Jockey Club back in the spring, but is ready for a run now.”
Zaaki has won a number of his five starts for Sir Michael Stoute this year and bids to improve his tally – while Happy Power (Andrew Balding), Pogo (Charlie Hills) and Anna Nerium (Richard Hannon) complete the line-up.

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