Saeed bin Suroor expects Benbatl to improve for his first run of the season in the tote Celebration Mile at Goodwood.
A Group One winner in Germany, Australia and Dubai, the seven-year-old has not been seen since being beaten into third by last year’s 2000 Guineas winner Kameko in the Joel Stakes at Newmarket in September.
That was also his first run for over 200 days, after he had finished a creditable third in the Saudi Cup on dirt behind the American specialists.
“Benbatl had a nice break earlier in the season and we decided not to take him out to Dubai because he had a hard season last year,” Bin Suroor told www.godolphin.com.
“This looks a good race for him over a trip that suits.
“He has been going well at home and is ready to get his campaign started, although we expect him to come on for his first run in almost a year.”
Benbatl will be reunited with Oisin Murphy who rode him to Royal Ascot success back in 2017.
“I love the horse and he seems in really good shape. He’s very healthy and very generous in his gallops,” said the champion jockey.
“I know he’s been off for a while and you’d expect him to improve for the run, but he’s a superstar and at his best he’ll take a lot of beating.
“I hope the weather is kind, he doesn’t want slow ground, fast ground is key to seeing him at his best.
“It’s exciting. I can’t tell you how much I adore the horse. He was my first Royal Ascot winner, I rode him in the Derby when he didn’t stay but some of his figures throughout his career have been outstanding.
“I’m very excited, I know it’s only a Group Two but I adore the horse,” he told Racing TV.
Andrew Blading’s Happy Power is a Group Three winner at Goodwood over seven furlongs and while the trainer admits that is his preferred trip, he is more than capable of running well over a mile.
“Seven furlongs is his ideal distance, but he’s run very good races at this distance in the past and has been fourth in a Sussex Stakes. The most relevant thing is he likes Goodwood,” said Balding.
“He seems in good form and I hope he’d run well.”
Chindit won the Champagne Stakes last year and reappeared with victory in the Greenham Stakes this term.
He has been fifth in three Group Ones since – most recently the Prix Jacques le Marois – and Hannon is hoping a drop in class can see him return to winning ways.
“He’s been running OK. He’s looked just slightly below that very top level, he’s finished fifth in three Group Ones in a row but he’s run with huge credit, the last race particularly. Maybe he didn’t stay that last half-furlong,” Hannon told Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast.
“An easy mile should be right up his street, there’s no Poetic Flare, there’s no Palace Pier. He’s been running in the very top mile races and this is a good chance for him.
“I think he was a little out of his ground in the Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes, but he had every chance in the Jacques le Marois and there were no excuses apart from not running fast enough.
“He’s in training next year, he’s a very good horse but he just looks 3lb short of the very top level. He might find that in the next month or the next year.”
Marcus Tregoning’s Perotto was a Royal Ascot winner in June and was not beaten far by Megallan in a Group Three at Salisbury last time out.
This represents another step up in grade but his profile suggests he is still improving.
“The handicapper thought his last run was his best so I think he deserves a crack at this,” said Tregoning.
“He’s very versatile, goes on any ground and the horses are running well so hopefully he should run well.”
Charlie Hills runs two in Pogo and the three-year-old Mutasaabeq, the 2019 winner Duke Of Hazzard represents Paul and Oliver Cole, Frankie Dettori rides Stormy Antarctic for Ed Walker with Lavender’s Blue representing Amanda Perrett.