Trainer Graeme Begg believes that the 2014 QTC Cup is the right race for Bennetta and he is happy with the condition of the talented mare ahead of the Group 2 event on Saturday.
Bennetta returned to the races with a promising third behind Flamberge and Hot Snitzel in the Group 3 Sebring Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5 and she was not disgraced when sixth behind Hana’s Goal in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 26.
Begg told Racing Ahead that Bennetta had relished the month between runs leading into the QTC Cup and was happy with the way she performed when fourth in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick last Saturday.
“Bennetta is in good shape,” Begg said.
“She had a bit of a break between the All Aged Stakes and this race on Saturday and she had a trial last Friday to fit her up.
“She leaves to go up to Brisbane tomorrow.
“I am very happy with her and she has freshened up nicely.”
Bennetta has not scored a race win since she took out the 2013 edition of the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 16, but Begg believes that he has found the right race for the daughter of General Nediym.
Begg said that Bennetta gets into the QTC Cup well under handicap conditions and hopes that the race will have the four-year-old primed for the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 21.
“We earmarked this race for her, being in between the Doomben 10,000 and the Stradbroke under handicap conditions, and it also gives us a three week buffer into the Tatt’s Tiara,” Begg said.
“She is coming off running in a Group 1 weight-for-age race and she is dropping back to a handicap.
“We thought that she wouldn’t be badly treated.”
Bennetta will be returning to Queensland for the first time since she scored a dominant two and a half lengths win in the Magic Millions Fillies And Mares Handicap (1300m) at the Gold Coast on January 13 last year and is set to be partnered by regular jockey James McDonald.
The QTC Cup is set to feature a strong field; with Gerald Ryan-trained Dances On Stars, veteran gelding Belltone and the Chris Waller-trained trio of Masthead, She’s Clean and Velrosso all included in the nominations for the $175,000 race.