Last years Cox Plate runner up to miss race

Benbatl is unlikely to return to Australia this year – with targets in Canada and America mooted, his trainer has said.

Saeed bin Suroor’s globetrotter won the G1 Caulfield Stakesin Australia last year before having a crack at Winxin the Cox Plate at Melbourne.

The Godolphin-owned ultimately came off second best in that encounter, and has been given plenty of time to get over those exertions.

“After he went to Australia, we gave him a break because he’d had a hard season,” said Bin Suroor.

“He’d run in Dubai, England, Germany and Australia.

“He’s back in training, and we’ll start looking for races for him in September time. He could start off in England – but there are races abroad for him in Europe.

“We’ll keep all his options open, but I don’t think we’ll take him back out to Australia this year. We might have some others for Australia this year.

“I think it’s more likely we’ll look at Canada or America for him. We’ll see how he is going – so far he is moving well, looks healthy and is working really nicely.”

Bin Suroor also has an update on Royal Marine, a Group One winner last season but who has been bitterly disappointing this term.

“Royal Marine has been gelded,” said the Newmarket trainer.

“He’s been disappointing. He just isn’t showing what he showed last year.

“We took him to Dubai and thought he might not have liked the dirt – but (then) he disappointed in the Guineas and in France.

“I still believe he has the class – his form is in the book.”

Benbatl is currently a $15 chance in Cox Plate oddswith the TAB.

Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au