Co-trainer Adrian Bull is confident that Benzini is primed for a strong performance in Saturday’s Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm, despite having been scratched from the Doomben Cup field last weekend.
A proven performer during the Brisbane Winter Carnival, Benzini arrived in Australia last year for third in the Premier’s Cup before he stormed home to win the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m); ending his campaign a credible fourth in the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m) on Tatt’s Tiara Day.
Revealing that the team did not want to run the son of Tale Of The Cat on a heavy track at Doomben first-up, Bull told the New Zealand Racing Desk that he is thrilled with the horse’s condition and believes he will prove tough to beat in the Premier’s Cup 2017.
“We didn’t want to run him on a heavy track,” Bull said.
“He’s done well and we’re happy with him.”
Benzini has been a strong and consistent performer throughout his entire racing career so far and will take his place in the 2017 Premier’s Cup field with a smart record of eleven wins and twelve minors, through a total of forty-five competitive appearances.
Resuming in his native New Zealand in spring for sixth in the Group 1 Livamol Ormond Memorial (2040m), Benzini clearly took plenty of benefit from the run when second in the Group 3 OMF Stakes (2000m) second-up.
Progressing to a credible fifth in the Group 3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m), the gelding out of Paris Perfume was again sent abroad and this time ran on for a handy sixth in the talent-stacked Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin on December 11th.
Resuming this year for second in the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) on March 16th, Benzini was last seen finishing a credible third in the Group 3 Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m) on April 22nd.
The 2017 Premier’s Cup field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.