Denied in Dubai: Benbatl to return at Goodwood after World Cup woes
Saeed bin Suroor is hoping for better luck when Benbatl returns to the domestic arena in the Group 2 Ladbrokes Celebration Mile at Goodwood on Saturday, after his stable star was robbed of the chance to win the Dubai World Cup in March.
The six-year-old, who is 9-4 joint-favourite with the sponsor this weekend, was favourite to land the $12 million showpiece at Meydan but missed out when the World Cup night fixture was cancelled days before it was due to take place.
The much-travelled son of Dubawi is now back from a break to kick off an autumn and winter campaign that may well culminate in a bid for compensation in the 2021 Dubai World Cup.
Bin Suroor said: "Benbatl is back from a break and we're looking forward to running him at Goodwood, although he won't run if it's soft ground as we've tried that before and he doesn't like it.
"He's working well and it was always the plan to get him going again in the autumn just like we did last year. If he couldn't run at Goodwood then we would take him to the Group 2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket that he won last year."
Reflecting on the Dubai World Cup that never was, Bin Suroor added: "It was frustrating that the Dubai World Cup couldn't take place as Benbatl had shown his versatility by winning Round 2 of the Al Maktoum Challenge on the dirt and then ran very well to be third in the Saudi Cup. He was all ready to go when it was called off but these things happen sometimes and there was a lot going on in the world. Hopefully he could be there next year."
The trainer also had news of his top three-year-old Military March, who was forced to miss last month's Investec Derby due to a setback. The son of New Approach, fourth in the 2,000 Guineas, is a general 14-1 chance for the Pertemps St Leger at Doncaster next month but will not be ready in time to take part in the final British Classic.
Bin Suroor said: "Military March is doing well and is back cantering but will not be ready for the St Leger. Hopefully he can come back some time in October."
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