Benbatl will be aimed at the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on champions day following his impressive victory at Newmarket last week.
Returning after a lengthy absence, Saeed bin Suroor’s five-year-old looked a class apart in the Joel Stakes – brushing off the challenge of John Gosden’s King Of Comedy, who had previously run well in the St James’s Palace Stakes and Juddmonte International this season.
In the immediate aftermath, Bin Suroor raised the 10-furlong Qipco Champion Stakes as a possible alternative to the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes – with his charge having won Group 1's over the longer distance in Germany and Australia.
However, the Godolphin trainer has now confirmed his charge will stick to a mile at Ascot on October 19th.
“He came back well after the race and the plan now is to take him to the QEII,” said bin Suroor.
“He’s a horse who had been showing his class in the morning and was a Group 1 winner in the past – he won it well and he’ll be ready for Ascot now.
“A stiff mile is his best trip, I think, but he stays a mile and a quarter. I talked to Oisin (Murphy) and he agrees with me that the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is his race and I spoke to Sheikh Mohammed, who gave me the green light for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
“He’ll be ok with a bit of cut in the ground but we wouldn’t want it too soft.”
Mountain Hunter was the winner of a listed race on the same afternoon – but his big targets are overseas, as they are with Chelmsford winner Bin Battuta.
“Mountain Hunter beat a good horse in Loxley to win a listed race. He’ll go out to Dubai, but we could look to find a race before he goes,” the trainer added.
“We had him in the Melbourne Cup but he’s suited by Dubai racing, as is Bin Battuta.”