Benbatl Aimed at G1 Cox Plate in Melbourne
Renowned as The Race Where Legends Are Made, Cox Plate Day in 2018 will encompass Australia’s best horse race on a stage built for the big moments. The Valley’s cauldron will be rumbling as the crowd waits to crown their next legend.
With the question in the air of whether super mare Winx will return, the world will hold its breath as she potentially seeks to go beyond the deeds of any other racehorse in history and attempt to win an unprecedented fourth W.S. Cox Plate.
Winx did not run at Royal Ascot this year with trainer Chris Waller keen to give the champion mare every chance to win an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate in the spring.
— Winx (Official) (@winx_horse) June 4, 2018
Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor has accepted the Moonee Valley Racing Club’s invitation for Benbatl to contest this year’s G1 Cox Plate in Melbourne on Saturday, 27 October.
The G1 Dubai Turf winner will take his first step towards that long-term Australian target when running next in the G1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis-Bayeriches Zuchtrennen at Munich on Sunday, 29 July.
From Newmarket on Saturday, Saeed said: “I have spoken to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, and he has decided to take up the invitation issued to Godolphin for Benbatl.
Trained by @GregEurell Cluster from Larneuk Stud is surely a first season sire who will be quickly making his mark – this colt is an exceptional type out of a Zabeel mare. This very affordable Colt will be lots of fun. https://t.co/Ax0nJBdVdq pic.twitter.com/M91GV5QvrD
— Knightsbridge (@KBloodstock) July 6, 2018
“Being a winner of the Dubai Turf, over nine furlongs, and the G3 Hampton Court Stakes, over 10 furlongs at Royal Ascot, the 2040m at Moonee Valley should be the perfect trip for Benbatl.
“Obviously, he will have to show us that he continues in good form, at Munich and in the race following, in order to travel to Australia. But, at the present time, the Cox Plate is the intended target,” he added.
Benbatl, on his return to Britain, finished 10th behind Accidental Agent in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
This year’s 98th running of the Cox Plate, Australia’s premier weight-for-age race, carries record prizemoney of A$5 million.
Saeed sent out third-placed Grandera in the 2002 Cox Plate, widely regarded as one of the strongest renewals of the famous race.
That epic contest was won by champion Northerly, who defeated Defier, with ‘greats’ such as Sunline (fourth), Fields Of Omagh (fifth) and Lonhro (sixth) all finishing behind Grandera.
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