There was no shortage of exposure surrounding Peter Snowden’s unprecedented clean sweep of two year old features last season but the same can’t be said for one of those stars.
Benfica completed the five race haul for Snowden when he won the Group 1 TJ Smith at Eagle Farm back in June.
This followed on from Sepoy’s Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper success as well as Helmet in the Sires Produce and Champagne Stakes.
Those two have dominated the media since then and they continue to now but for Benfica it’s been a very different story.
The now three year old by Lonhro hasn’t been sighted since his TJ Smith win after suffering a muscle injury.
He is back in work for the Snowden team now though and his role in the stable is more important than ever.
With both Sepoy and Helmet to head overseas during the autumn Benfica will become the go to horse for the three year old season.
So much depends on the way he comes back from injury and he’s still yet to trial to give us any insight.
That will change very soon though given he’s nominated and expected to run in the Zeditave Stakes over 1200m at Caulfield on January 26.
His campaign will lead into the Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington before hopefully extending into the Sydney carnival.
Once there he’s the type of horse that could even feature with low weight in the Doncaster Mile during April.
The mile appears to be the ideal trip at this stage of his career however he still is only lightly raced.
Benfica has had just the five starts to date with wins at Rosehill on debut, the Listed Hampden Stakes at Doomben and the TJ Smith.
He was super competitive at his other two starts as well where he finished second, including the Group 1 BTC Sires Produce Stakes where he was perhaps unlucky not to win.