Benbatl may have skipped a Dubai World Cup Carnival in 2019, but the winner of the 2018 Dubai Turf (G1) is coming in hot once again in 2020 for top trainer Saeed bin Suroor. The Godolphin-owned son of Dubawi enters Thursday's $250,000 Singspiel Stakes (G2)—a race he dominated in 2018—as the heavy favorite for his connections, making his first start since finishing unplaced in Ascot's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1) in October. Said effort followed a massive return to form in Newmarket's Joel Stakes (G2) that earned him a lofty rating.
“He's doing very well,” Bin Suroor said. “He worked very well last Thursday to prepare for this race. It was very strong and a good work. He had a long time off after a hard (2018 season). He's in good form and he is ready to go. I'm happy with him and look forward to running.”
Between his Dubai Turf romp and belated September return at Newmarket, the bay charge landed Germany's Grosser Dallmayr Preis-Bayerisches Zuchtrennen (G1) and Australia's Ladbrokes Stakes (G1) before finishing a game runner-up to the great Winx in the 2018 Cox Plate (G1). He is officially rated 125, which is the second-highest of any horse trained in Dubai. The only horse eclipsing said number is Godolphin's Charlie Appleby-conditioned Ghaiyyath (126).
Bin Suroor's Al Quoz Stables is off to a fantastic start already and that momentum could maintain, as Dream Castle, winner of last year's Singspiel (when a G3), will look to defend his title, providing a potent one-two punch. The Group 1-winning son of Frankel was off form when venturing to Australia during the autumn, but returns to his favorite course. Additionally, Listed winner and Royal Ascot runner-up Platinum Star makes his sophomore bow as a heavy favourite in the $100,000 Dubai Trophy over 1200m on turf on Thursday.
“Dream Castle is doing very well,” Bin Suroor said. “We will keep him on the grass and he has worked well in Dubai. He's a better horse in Dubai and he enjoys being back. Platinum Star will run in the (Dubai Trophy) on the grass. We will assess him after that. He's in good form.”
Another sophomore with Royal Ascot form who is supplying ample excitement is Final Song, who closed smartly to overtake highly regarded fillies Down on Da Bayou and Rio Angie in last Thursday's $100,000 UAE 1000 Guineas Trial.
“She's very good and back to exercise and cantered well this week,” Bin Suroor reported. “I'm happy with her and I think she will get even farther. The Guineas (1600m) distance would be nice for her. The other filly, Dubai Love, ran very well to be fourth. I think we will run both in the (Listed $250,000 UAE 1000) Guineas (on Jan. 23).”
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