Saeed bin Suroor is now excited about seeing his stable 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 One level – working out an excellent winner of the Dubai Turf at Meydan in March before landing the Grosser Dallmayr Preis in October.
Benbatl hasn’t yet been viewed in aggressive action since chasing home Winx when the wonder-mare maintained an early victory in the Cox Plate later in precisely the month, but has been reported to be for his Group Two reunite over the Rowley Mile.
“It’s his first start of the year. However he is in good condition, and we are looking forward to watching him run,” said Newmarket trainer bin Suroor.
“His job has been great, and he constantly shows his class in the mornings. His last piece of work about the Watered Gallop on Racecourse facet was quite good, and we are extremely pleased.
“A mile is a good trip for his very first rush, and we will see how we go. I’m hoping to get a great run, although I believe this particular race will be needed by him.
“I need to see how he runs and he comes from the race before making any plans, however, choices are available for him at Group One level.”
Benbatl faces a far from straightforward task on his comeback, even using all the John Gosden-trained King putting a standard on the shape of this season.
winning at Sandown at the spring, Kingman’s son appeared every inch a top-class colt at the making – which he was narrowly refused by Circus Maximus when a second in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
He was last seen finishing a close-up fourth in the Juddmonte International at York, and also relations are currently hoping that he could make the most of getting his landscapes lowered a colour.
Hugo Lascelles, racing manager to King Of Comedy’s owner-breeder Lady Bamford, said:”We expect it is a fantastic prospect for him. He’s working well, and John is happy with him going into the race.
“He put up a nice performance in York, along with the stiff mile in Newmarket needs to suit him nicely.
“We are optimistic, but you will find one or two great horses against him, so it won’t be a walkover, that’s for certain.
“He hasn’t won a Group race so we’ll take one step at a time, however if all goes well on Friday we hope he will then head back to Ascot for the QEII.”
The unbeaten UAE Jewel is already a winner – before after up on Guineas in the Listed Newmarket Stakes weekend creating a hugely impressive debut from the Wood Ditton.
The bill of roger Varian examines the water Group Two level on his return to activity.
Varian said:”It looks like a powerful renewal of this Joel Stakes, however the timing of this race fits well for UAE Jewel, also it needs to be a good starting point to receive his career back on track.
“I had been in two minds about running over this mile excursion or waiting for something above a mile and a quarter – and then he would not want too much rain, since he’s a fast-ground horse.
“He needed a drawback when we had been ordering him for the Prix du Jockey Club back into the spring, but is ready for a run now.”
Zaaki has won a number of the five starts for Sir Michael Stoute this year and bids to add to his tally – while Joyful Power (Andrew Balding), Pogo (Charlie Hills) and Anna Nerium (Richard Hannon) finish the line-up.
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