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Dubai Turf: Lancaster Bomber out to make amends for Aidan O'Brien

Sat 31 Mar 2018

Aidan O'Brien hopes Lancaster Bomber can improve his poor record in the Dubai Turf at Meydan on Saturday.

None of the Ballydoyle handler's previous four runners in the race have finished better than seventh.

O'Brien, who also runs outsider War Decree, said: "Lancaster Bomber has progressed well from three to four and he was a good fourth in the UAE Derby last year, so knows the environment.

"He is one of the highest-rated horses in this race and he loves the fast ground he will get at Meydan. He's a very hardy horse and could travel plenty this year."

The well-fancied Benbatl is one of three runners for Saeed bin Suroor, the others being Promising Run and Leshlaa, while Appleby's Blair House completes a Godolphin-owned quartet.

Benbatl was fifth in the Derby last year, before winning at Royal Ascot and then taking fifth spot in the King George.

He has taken well to life in Dubai, winning a Group Three and Group Two and finishing second to Blair House in the Group One Jebel Hatta.

Jockey Oisin Murphy has been his regular partner and said: "I've been very lucky to ride him. He was unlucky not to win last time.

"It is great to get back on him on Saturday, but it is a very competitive race. It is great to be involved in such a prestigious evening.

"He has taken to it well out there and the trip seems fine for him, but his form was very good over in Britain.

"Take nothing away from him - he is a very high-class horse."

The John Gosden-trained Monarchs Glen steps up in class after winning a Listed prize at Goodwood and a Group Three at Newmarket last autumn.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "We're very excited. I think he's wintered well and he's had a straightforward preparation.

"Obviously he hasn't run since October, which is interesting, but I think the pleasing thing with him is he's lost his coat and he's got a bit of a sheen on him.

"Frankie took him round the turf track during the week and he seems in good shape.

"He will need to improve - he's taking on much stiffer opposition than he's ever met - but we've always had a good opinion of him. He's been talented, if a little quirky.

"His attitude got much better after we gelded him. We haven't had too many geldings of his calibre recently and he's a son of Frankel, so we'll carry on with him."

French maestro Andre Fabre is represented by Trais Fluors, who suffered an odds-on reverse on his return from a break at Chantilly in early March.

Fabre said: "Trais Flours is a nice horse. He was beaten on his comeback, but that was his first run back for a long time.

"He's well and the extra furlong will probably help him.

"It won't be easy, but he's in very good shape."

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