Kiwi stayer Benzini remains solid in the betting for the Listed $175,000 Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) at Ipswich on Saturday despite being lumbered with 60kg.
Benzini is the $4.50 second pick for the Ipswich Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au behind the easing $4 favourite Sort After.
Co-trainer Harry Bull was a bit surprised that the handicapper allocated Benzini 60kg and the seven year old also has to cope with a rain affected Ipswich Cup track that was still rated a heavy 8 on Friday morning.
Benzini has won three times on a soft rated track and yet to win on the heavy but was only beaten one length on the heavy Eagle Farm track two starts back when fourth to Kaiser Franz in the Group 3 $125,000 Channel Seven Premier’s Cup (2200m) on May 27 and then ran fourth again to Chocante on a good surface in the in the Group 2 $300,000 Evergreen Turf Brisbane Cup (2200m) at Doomben last Saturday.
Benzini has drawn barrier ten in the fifteen horse Ipswich Cup field and will be ridden again by Kiwi jockey Kelly McCulloch who was aboard the Adrian and Harry Bull trained gelding in the Brisbane Cup.
McCulloch was happy with Benzini’s last start effort in the Brisbane Cup when they went slow in the early stages and made it a sprint home.
“His run was really good. They walked then sprinted from the 800m so he was no chance really but he felt awesome and I was really happy with him,” McCulloch said.
“I’d looked at the field and it appeared there was a lack of pace but I thought they would go harder than they did. But that’s just the way to ride him. That’s how he races best. He can do things wrong if you bustle him out of the barriers.
“It was just a leader-dominated race that played against him but he ran really well.”
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Sort After is holding her place at the top of the market order at $4 after $3.60 was bet earlier in the week while the Toowoomba trained Jumbo Prince is the only other runner under the $10 mark at $5.
Sort After is coming off an Adelaide Autumn Carnival campaign where she ran fourth to Amelie’s Star in the Group 2 $275,000 Hughes Limousines Queen Of The South Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on May 6 followed by a second to Exocet in the Listed $125,000 Centaurea Stakes (2019m) at Morphettville on May 20.