Queen Supreme will have her first race in the UK when she lines up in the Grade 2 Joel Stakes over 1600m at Newmarket on Friday.
The race will be run at 16.35 SA time
The daughter of Exceed And Excel won seven races in South Africa, including the Grade 1 Paddock Stakes over 1800m in 2020 and 2021.
Her last race in the country was in this year’s Cape Town Met.
Formerly trained by Mike de Kock, she is now with Andrew Balding and will be ridden by Ryan Moore.
The comment from the UK is that Queen Supreme intrigues as a top-class mare in South Africa having her first run in Europe.
However, she bumps a very tough field and multiple Group 1 winner Benbatl can prove he is still top class by reclaiming his Joel Stakes title .
Saeed bin Suroor’s stable star has been restricted to just two runs in the last 20 months, but his most recent effort to be narrowly defeated at Goodwood four weeks ago indicates the fire still burns at the age of seven.
That was at this same level, in the Group 2 Celebration Mile – and on his first appearance in almost a year, Benbatl overcame an awkward start to navigate his way to the front 200m out only to be beaten a short-head by the fast-finishing Lavender’s Blue.
The latter was outrunning big odds to post a career-best, but the established calibre of those who finished behind Benbatl give the form plenty of substance.
Benbatl boasts a high-class, globe-trotting CV but has an exemplary Newmarket record too – as winner of this race two years ago and a close and honourable third to Classic hero Kameko in it 12 months ago, while he was also placed in the 2017 Craven Stakes.
It has long been apparent he needs good ground at least to be seen at anywhere near his best, and his trainer has studiously avoided anything more testing.
Conditions therefore promise to be perfect, with a forecast for dry and increasingly warm weather throughout the Cambridgeshire meeting.
The Godolphin contender’s sternest challenge may well come from one wearing the same famous livery, with Charlie Appleby’s 2000 Guineas runner-up Master Of The Seas returning over course and distance.
His short-head defeat behind Jim Bolger’s hugely consistent and busy Group 1 performer Poetic Flare sets a lofty standard – but whereas it is reasonable to anticipate Master Of The Seas improving incrementally after a setback which has enforced his absence since the start of May, Benbatl has renewed momentum and race fitness on his side.
Lavender’s Blue could also hold the key to Pattern success earlier on a classy card.
Like Benbatl, Fooraat finished second to Amanda Perrett’s mare – albeit in a contrasting environment, at Listed level on Kempton’s Polytrack back in April.
Fooraat has run just twice since, again behind Lavender’s Blue in Group Two company at Royal Ascot and then unlucky to be beaten a head after meeting trouble up to an extended 10 furlongs at York.
Roger Varian’s four-year-old returns to a mile for the British EBF Rosemary Stakes, and ought to be right in the thick of it again.
Sea La Rosa is a filly with fair prospects of exceeding market expectations against her elders for trainer William Haggas and jockey Tom Marquand in the Group Three Princess Royal Stakes.
On the face of it, the three-year-old has plenty to find against Yorkshire Oaks runner-up Albaflora and others, even in receipt of 7lb weight for age from several rivals.
But moving up from handicaps, Sea La Rosa has significant potential for further improvement – having been highly consistent and appeared to relish this mile-and-a-half trip.
She is clearly at home on lively ground, always looked in command at Doncaster last month and won in the style of a filly ready to move up in level.
Alhezabr is another three-year-old being set a new test – but in his case entering handicaps after just three starts in maiden and novice company.
Varian’s gelding was a most convincing winner when he got off the mark at the third time of asking at Chepstow, having also been first past the post at Ffos Las last month only to be demoted after causing interference.
The closing Unibet Casino Deposit £10 And Get £40 Bonus Handicap appears to be a fine opportunity, over the right trip, for him to take advantage of an initial rating of 83.
Up at Haydock, Bascule and Reversion are two worth noting.
The former bids to break his duck, at the sixth attempt, in the opening Betway Apprentice Handicap.
Jockeys’ title contenders William Buick and Oisin Murphy have both been unable to get Bascule home in front this summer, so Elinor Jones takes over.
Bascule has been beaten an aggregate of little more than two lengths in three runner-up efforts – so at this modest level, it is easy to envisage a first career success for him, and third for his jockey.
Reversion sports the double-green colours of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, much more widely-associated with jumps racing but an increasingly familiar sight on the Flat too this year.
The owners team up with regular associate Alan King, who has also expanded his Flat string to great and high-profile effect in recent seasons.
Reversion, who sticks to the minimum trip over which he was a 16-1 winner at Sandown last time, has obvious prospects of following up from the bottom of the weights in the Lee Thomas Christy Memorial Nursery Handicap. – www.sportingpost.com