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Benbatl has Prince of Wales’s Stakes aim after Meydan win

31 Mar 2018

Charlie Appleby-trained colt was a decisive winner of the Dubai Turf at Meydan on Saturday

Murphy and Benbatl after taking the honours at Meydan. Picture:

Benbatl will be aimed at the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 20 after his emphatic win from Poet’s Word in the Dubai Turf on Saturday.

The Saeed bin Suroor-trained colt travelled strongly under Oisin Murphy and was not extended to beat the Japanese-trained Vivlos, who was defending her crown, into second.

“The horse was in brilliant condition,” Murphy said. “I work hard in the mornings and I dream about riding horses like this. To get the opportunity is fantastic.”

Bin Suroor added: “We saw last year that he is a good horse and I am so happy with him. He will have a break now and then he will go for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.”

Thunder Snow, a stablemate of Benabtl, must also be a possible for the mile and a quarter feature at the Royal Meeting – which forms part of the Middle Distance category of the QIPCO Champions Series – after his surprise success in the Dubai World Cup.

Vazirabad will be aimed at the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot after gaining a third successive victory in the Dubai Gold Cup.

Alain de Royer-Dupre’s six-year-old swept through from off the pace under Christophe Soumillon, with dual Series winner Sheikhzayedroad keeping on well to fill the runner-up spot.

Last year’s Gold Cup hero Big Orange ran below-par under Frankie Dettori.

Royer-Dupre said: “This year I knew the horse was much better than he was before. He was more relaxed. His target is Ascot for the Gold Cup.”

Hawkbill, winner of the Coral-Eclipse of 2016, landed the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic despite being restless in the stalls before the start. He seems bound to again make his presence felt over middle distances in the Series for trainer Charlie Appleby this summer.

Jungle Cat, also trained by Appleby, landed the Al Quoz Sprint after Blue Point, his stablemate, who was hot favourite, had to be withdrawn just before the start. Expect both to be players in the Champions Series over the months ahead.