Sign up to the TDN daily edition

Enter your details below to subscribe to the TDN Australia & NZ daily edition.

Godolphin pair stake their claims

3 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

Godolphin’s well-performed international duo of Benbatl (GB) (Dubawi {IRE}) and Blair House (IRE) (Pivotal {GB}) will be at the top of their games when they take on Australia’s queen of the turf in a fortnight.

But the high-class pair will need to be if they are to have any chance of wresting the G1 Cox Plate crown away from Chris Waller’s champion mare Winx (Street Cry {IRE}) in the Moonee Valley showdown.

The Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Benbatl will certainly be a more than worthy opponent after a fighting display to down Charlie Appleby’s Blair House in a stirring finish to Saturday’s G1 Ladbrokes S.

“He’s run a huge race, he finished really well and we can look with confidence toward the Cox Plate.” - Saeed Bin Suroor said.

“He’s run a huge race, he finished really well and we can look with confidence toward the Cox Plate,” Bin Suroor said.

“Sheikh Mohammed made the decision to run in both races and it’s great that he supports his trainers and sends his best horses to Australia.” '

Benbatl won at Group 1 level for the first time in the Dubai Turf at Meydan in March and subsequently added the Grosser Dallmayr Preis Bayerisches Zuchtrennen in Munich to his record in July.

Bin Suroor said the 5-year-old had thrived on his trip Down Under and would improve with his Caulfield outing.

“He looked really well, fantastic, and he relaxed and won well. We’ll prepare him for the big race now.” – Saeed Bin Suroor.

“He looked really well, fantastic, and he relaxed and won well. We’ll prepare him for the big race now.”

Rider Pat Cosgrave had Benbatl coasting along in the trail behind Homesman (USA) (War Front {USA}) and when the leader felt the pinch he surged to the front 200 metres from home.

Blair House issued a stern challenge and they drew clear with Benbatl pulling out that bit more to take the major honours.

“It’s great, he’s a really good horse and he rarely runs a bad race,” he said. “They are two really nice horses, the first and second.

“It’s great, he’s a really good horse and he rarely runs a bad race.” – Pat Cosgrave.

“I went seven years without a Group 1 and now I’ve had three in the last eight weeks.”

The Darren Weir-trained multiple Group 1 winner Humidor (NZ) (Teofilo {IRE}) made solid ground to take third money with his stablemates Tosen Basil (IRE) (Harbinger {GB}) and Night’s Watch (NZ) (Redwood {GBN}) out of the money.

“Humidor was as good as he can go, the other two were too good on the day, but he ran great and we’ll press on to the Cox Plate with him in great shape,” Weir said.

“We’ll push on with Tosen Basil, he’s a lot better than that and I though Night’s Watch got a pass mark. It was weight-for-age and a pretty hot race.”