Benbatl misses Celebration date due to Goodwood ground

Saeed bin Suroor takes out stable star.

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Benbatl will miss this afternoon’s Ladbrokes Celebration Mile at Goodwood due to the testing conditions.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor had been concerned about the ground and after 10.6 millimetres of rain during racing on Friday, the going is now officially heavy, soft in places.

The withdrawal of Benbatl means Oisin Murphy will now switch to partner the William Knight-trained Sir Busker.

Conditions would also by a worry for the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Regal Reality, who got back to winning ways last time out at Salisbury, and steps back up in class for this Group Two event.

“The intention is to run, but we obviously wouldn’t want too much rain,” said Chris Richardson, managing director of owners Cheveley Park Stud.

“He came out of his win well, and we were very happy with his performance at Salisbury.

“I think his ideal trip would be nine furlongs. He doesn’t quite get 10, so a strong-run race at a mile is well within his compass.”

Paul and Oliver Cole’s Duke Of Hazzard won the race 12 months ago.

He disappointed in the Salisbury race won by Regal Reality, but before that had gone close in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood.

“There is a very highly-rated Godolphin horse in there, so we’ll just have to take our chances,” said Oliver Cole.

“But he loves Goodwood, he won it last year, and we hope he has a good chance.

“We’ve done a lot of head-scratching as to why he ran so badly at Salisbury – so we’ll obviously put a line through that. Nothing really came to light, nothing.

“It was just a bit of a bizarre run, but the only excuse we could possibly think of was that he didn’t really get much cover and probably did too much.”

Richard Hannon’s Urban Icon was highly regarded in his younger days and went close behind the likes of Mohaather and Space Blues.

He went close under a big weight in the Golden Mile last time out and steps back into Pattern company for this Group Two assignment.

Hannon said: “He ran very well over course and distance in a handicap at the track last time, and he has been put up 1lb for that.

“He should run well, because he does look to have a good draw (one) to work from. He was a bit unlucky last time – there were a few who were unlucky, but it looks like that race has turned out to be quite nice.

“I don’t think going back up in grade is a problem, because I think he is a very classy horse and he is up to this level.”

Century Dream (Simon and Ed Crisford) and Positive (Clive Cox) complete the field.

Benbatl misses Celebration date due to Goodwood ground

Goodwood 15:35, 29 August 2020

Goodwood 15:35, 29 August 2020

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