Dubai: Fresh from winning a pair of notable Group races each at last week’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting in France, Godolphin handlers Saeed Bin Surour and Charlie Appleby turn their attention to the Melbourne Racing Club’s popular Spring Carnival.
They are represented by Bin Surour’s high-class Benbatl, a winner in three different countries, and Appleby’s Blair House, who posted back-to-back wins at Meydan earlier this year, in the Group 1 A$1million (Dh2.6 million) Caulfield Stakes, at Caulfield, one of Melbourne’s most well-known racecourses.
The race is one of the highlights of Caulfield Guineas Day, the opening day of the much-anticipated Spring Carnival.
Benbatl, who captured the Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr-Pries in Munich, Germany in July, will be ridden by English rider, Pat Cosgrave, who is making his Australian debut.
Bin Surour commented on the Godolphin website: “He hasn’t raced since the Juddmonte International at York in August, so he needs a run before moving on to the Cox Plate (G1).”
In contrast, Blair House, the mount of James Doyle, comes into Saturday’s race with the advantage of having been exposed to the Caulfield track where he finished a noteworthy fourth in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes despite missing the break.
“His first run in Australia was good under the circumstances,” Appleby said.
“He missed the break and was near-last early, yet he finished off his race well, despite being checked in the straight.
“This is a tough race, but he is ready to step up.”
The Godolphin pair come up against a strong field featuring the likes of Homesman, formerly trained in Ireland and a winner twice in Australia, the Aidan O’Brien-trained The Cliffsofmoher, and the former Japanese runner Tosen Basil.
Among the locally trained contenders, the Darren Weir-trained Humidor is the leading fancy.
The UAE post time for the race is 10.35am. It will be telecast live on Dubai Racing Channel.
At A Glance
What: Caulfield Cup (G1) A$1million
When: Saturday, October 13
Where: Caulfield Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia