Benbatl stayed on powerfully for an excellent success in the G3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot on Thursday, June 22, giving Godolphin a fourth victory so far at Royal Ascot 2017.
The three-year-old Dubawi colt, dropping back to 10 furlongs for trainer Saeed bin Suroor after finishing fifth in the G1 Derby over a mile and a half on June 3, broke well and soon tracked the leaders as fifth of the 13 runners.
Benbatl travelled strongly under Oisin Murphy and was switched out to deliver his challenge at the top of the straight.
He quickened smartly to hit the front a furlong and a half from home and galloped out well to beat Orderofthegarter by half a length in 2m 5.40s on good to firm ground.
Saeed bin Suroor, enjoying his 36th winner at the Royal Meeting, said: “When Benbatl won the first time, we thought that he was the right horse for the big races.
“He finished fifth in the Derby and he ran well, but he came from too far back and finished strong, so we thought that a mile and a quarter would be better for him.
“Sheikh Mohammed made the decision to run him in today’s race and Benbatl is obviously improving all the time.
“Today’s trip was brilliant for him. He was in a nice position and kicked really well. He is a nice horse for the future.
“Last year, he was very backward, I looked after him in the winter and then early in the season, he showed some class.
“It is brilliant to win at Royal Ascot. These races are hard to win but finally we find the right horse to win.
“We will keep the options open. We might take him to York for the York Stakes (G2, July 29, 1m 2f 88y) or the Great Voltigeur Stakes (G2, August 23, 12 furlongs) or we could go to Goodwood for the Gordon Stakes (G3, 1m 4f, August 5). Then later maybe give him a break before the Champion Stakes (G1, October 21, 10f) at Ascot.”
“I like him. He won really well first time at Doncaster and is a very honest horse. He could be anything for the future.
“Oisin is a jockey for the future. He is doing really well and has always done a good job for us in Dubai and here. We are going to use him even more in the future.”
Oisin Murphy added: “It’s a massive monkey off my back. I am just delighted to get my first Royal Ascot winner.
“He travelled like the best horse in today’s race because he was the best horse in the race.
“I am very fortunate to have a very good job with Qatar Racing, but Saeed puts me up sometimes as well and to get a winner for Godolphin is great, it’s a very important week, it’s fantastic.
“Benbatl is out of Nahrain and by Dubawi so 10 furlongs is likely to be his trip.”