Benbatl gets Saudi green light

Benbatl has been given the green light to run in the inaugural Saudi Cup this weekend.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor let his mount take his chance on dirt for the first time at Meydan earlier this month, and his flag-bearer responded with a comfortable success.

Following that victory, the decision whether to take him to the $20m race in Riyadh was left to owner Sheikh Mohammed – and he has given the go-ahead.

“Yes, Benbatl runs – Sheikh Mohammed was happy for him to go,” said Bin Suroor.

“He won well on the dirt in Dubai, so we know that isn’t a problem. He’s been working well since, and he’s in good form.

“The race will be very tough, we know that, but we’re looking forward to seeing him run.”

Bin Suroor will also be represented on Saturday in the Samba Saudi Derby by Final Song.

“I also run Final Song in the Saudi Derby – the filly,” he said.

“She’s a nice filly. She shows plenty of speed over six and seven furlongs – but this race is over a mile, so we’ll see how she runs.

“She ran really well in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot last year, but five furlongs was too short for her.”

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