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Posted 2019-09-27 15:01:57  
Back with a bang: Benbatl returns with electric victory in Joel Stakes

Benbatl made a winning return from a 335-day break in the Group 2 Shadwell Joel Stakes under Oisin Murphy, romping home under hands and heels to reward punters at 4-1.

Allowed to dictate the race at his own pace, Benbatl, a three-time Group 1 winner, quickened away from his five rivals with consummate ease under Murphy to win by five lengths.

Autumn and winter targets are set to be lofty for the Saeed bin Suroor-trained globetrotter and he was cut to 6-1 (from 14) for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot next month by Paddy Power. He is also 8-1 (from 10-1) for the Champion Stakes with Betfair.

Well-backed 6-5 favourite King Of Comedy finished a distant second under Frankie Dettori despite moving closer mid race.

Murphy said: "It was a great training performance by Saeed and everybody else who got him back. You can go a mile or ten furlongs with him and he's got loads of class.

"I haven't slept much this week with excitement. There was no pressure on today as it was a prep run, but he hasn't had a slap and he was electric. It's a fantastic feeling. He is the best around, he's rated 123 and he's very good.

"Champions Day is coming up and there's a reasonable time period between now and then so hopefully the horse can continue to thrive and we can get excited."

Zaaki finished third, while UAE Jewel, who was also returning from a long layoff, took fourth for Roger Varian.

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