Benbatl will miss both the Dubai Carnival and Saudi Cup this year, in favour of a European campaign.
The Godolphin star had been favourite for this year’s Dubai World Cup, having proved his effectiveness on dirt last season with a win in the second round of the Al Maktoum Challenge and when third in the Saudi Cup.
The son of Dubawi is now a seven-year-old entire – but as yet there are no plans to send him to stud.
He is a winner of 10 of his 22 races, including Group Ones in Australia, Germany and Dubai – and the aim appears to be to add a top-level victory in the UK to his CV.
“Benbatl will not run in Dubai or Saudi Arabia this year – we’ll keep him for a European campaign and look to get him out in May,” said trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
“He’s still a good horse, but this year we are looking for better results from him. Last year didn’t go his way – the ground never seemed right, (and) there is no point running him on soft.
“He’s not going to stud just yet, anyway. We’ve got him for this year, then we’ll keep options open.
“Everything over a mile, nine furlongs and a mile and a quarter is suitable for him, that’s what we think.”