Murphy's Law At Newmarket On Friday

Benbatl | DRC/Erika Rasmussen

   Newmarket's Friday fixture is replete with black-type events and it is Oisin Murphy who holds the key to the featured G2 Shadwell Joel S. Having partnered the impressive 2019 winner Benbatl (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), he hands that ride to Frankie Dettori this time as he helps prepare Qatar Racing's G1 2000 Guineas winner Kameko (Kitten's Joy) for the G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. Kameko has by dint of fate and circumstance failed to make the places in three starts after his finest hour when taking that mile Classic on June 6 and he is back over the same course and distance here in a no-excuse exercise. “Benbatl is one of the highest-rated horses in the world and Kameko is a Classic winner who ran the fastest-ever Guineas, so it's a mouthwatering prospect,” Murphy said. “It will be hard for Kameko with the penalty–we have to give Benbatl a pound–but there were limited options and he's in super form and ready to run. I obviously love Benbatl. I only raced against him once and that was in the Juddmonte International when I won on Roaring Lion. I've ridden Benbatl in work recently as well and he's also in super form.”

With two of Kameko's subsequent defeats coming over further than 10 furlongs and his only other outing at this trip resulting in a luckless fourth in the G1 Sussex S. at Goodwood on July 29, his rider is happy that he is at the right distance. “He travelled very well in the Sussex and got into second place in the Juddmonte, having sat last, and then his run petered out at the line,” he explained. “Hopefully the ground continues to dry today–both he and Benbatl want top of the ground.”

Last year, Benbatl was winning this off a 10-month gap before finishing a tailed-off last in the QEII at Ascot but he proved in the spring that he retains all his ability and was last seen finishing third in the inaugural Saudi Cup on dirt at Riyadh on Feb. 29. Saeed bin Suroor said he wants the rain to stay away. “He did his last piece of work on the Watered Gallop here in Newmarket and he is doing really well,” he commented. “It is his first run in Europe since he went to Dubai and Saudi Arabia. We are looking for a good result from him. It's a tough race, but he won it last year and it's the right race for him. We don't want the ground to be too soft–good ground would be good for him.”

This is no two-horse race, with Cheveley Park Stud's talented but mercurial Regal Reality (GB) (Intello {Ger}), Saeed Manana's Sept. 5 G3 Superior Mile winner Top Rank (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) and Khalid Abdullah's July 31 G3 Thoroughbred S. scorer Tilsit (First Defence) also in contention.

Also on the card is the G2 Shadwell Rockfel S., where Ballydoyle's Sept. 12 Listed Ingabelle S. winner Monday (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) and Paul and Clare Rooney's seven-length Aug. 29 G3 Prestige S. scorer Isabella Giles (Ire) (Belardo {Ire}) appear to be the main protagonists.

The G3 Princess Royal Muhaarar S. sees Kirsten Rausing's Aug. 20 G1 Yorkshire Oaks runner-up Alpinista (GB) (Frankel {GB}) set the standard, but she faces some up-and-comers including Qatar Racing's impressive Aug. 1 Listed Chalice S. winner Katara (Fr) (Deep Impact {Jpn}).

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