February 28, 2021

Benbatl in Superior frame

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Benbatl could make his eagerly-awaited seasonal debut in the Betfair Superior Mile at Haydock on Saturday.

Saeed bin Suroor had wanted to run his stable star, a winner of three Group Ones, in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood.

However, when 10 millimetres of rain fell in a little over 20 minutes at the track on Friday the ground turned heavy, forcing Bin Suroor to admit defeat.

“We really wanted to run him at Goodwood, but we know he cannot handle very soft ground – he ran in the QEII on it and was last,” he said.

“We told everyone before the race that if the ground was too soft we wouldn’t run him and I’m afraid it was too soft.

“There’s a race for him at Haydock, a Group Three, the Superior Mile. If the ground is suitable we might run him there.

“Hopefully we have a dry week and that is an option for him.”

Benbatl has not run since finishing a creditable third in the inaugural running of the Saudi Cup on dirt.

He was due to run in the Dubai World Cup until that meeting was abandoned as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.