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Benbatl gets green light to contest Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

1 Oct 2019

Emphatic Joel Stakes winner will stick to a mile on QIPCO British Champions Day

Benbatl will be seeking a fourth Group 1 success on QIPCO British Champions Day. Picture:

Benbatl will be aimed at the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day following his impressive victory at Newmarket last week.

Returning after a lengthy absence, Saeed bin Suroor’s five-year-old looked a class apart in the Joel Stakes – brushing off the challenge of John Gosden’s King Of Comedy, who had previously run well in the St James’s Palace Stakes and Juddmonte International this season.

In the immediate aftermath, Bin Suroor raised the 10-furlong QIPCO Champion Stakes as a possible alternative to the QIPCO-sponsored QEII – with his charge having won Group Ones over the longer distance in Germany and Australia.

However, the Godolphin trainer has now confirmed his charge will stick to a mile at Ascot on October 19.

“He came back well after the race and the plan now is to take him to the QEII,” said bin Suroor.

“He’s a horse who had been showing his class in the morning and was a Group One winner in the past – he won it well and he’ll be ready for Ascot now.

“A stiff mile is his best trip, I think, but he stays a mile and a quarter. I talked to Oisin (Murphy) and he agrees with me that the QEII is his race and I spoke to Sheikh Mohammed, who gave me the green light for the QEII.

“He’ll be ok with a bit of cut in the ground but we wouldn’t want it too soft.”