Benz ready to hit top gear

Benz, ridden by Blake Shinn, wins the Zeditave Stakes at Caulfield. Picutre: Mike Keating/Racing Photos via Getty Images

BEN SCADDENThe Advertiser

BENZ’S main mission is still more than two weeks away but trainer Gordon Richards says his stable star will be ready to rumble when he resumes at Morphettville on Saturday.

Benz steps out in Saturday’s Listed $110,000 Redelva Stakes (1100m) at his first run since winning the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 25, a race that further franked his reputation as one of South Australia’s most gifted young gallopers.

While the Group 2 $500,000 UBET Euclase Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on May 6 shapes as an obvious target for the three-year-old gelding, he’s still expected to be among the major players this weekend.

“This won’t be just a fitting run for the Euclase. He’ll be ready,” Richards declared.

“He’s had a lot of work (since the Zeditave).

“He could have raced three weeks ago if there was a race for him. But when you’ve got the Euclase in mind, you’ve got to time it properly.”

The trainer was pleased with Benz’s second in a trial at Morphettville last Thursday for apprentice jockey Anna Jordsjo when he worked to the front then was overhauled late by Sandrelli.

“It was a nice quiet trial … and he did all we asked of him,” he said.

“Then he ran down a half mile on Tuesday morning on the grass at Morphettville.

“Don’t worry, he’s all ready to go.”

Benz has drawn wide in barrier 10 for the Redelva and will be ridden by talented young local hoop Jake Toeroek, a former dux of the SA apprentice academy.

“Jake’s done a lot of work on him here locally,” Richards said.

“He rode him in a trial and rode most of the work on him before he went across to the Zeditave. I think it’s only fair to stick with him.

“The barrier isn’t ideal but there are a few quick ones in it.

“We know he won’t get anywhere near the fence but hopefully they break them up enough that he can find a spot just off the pace and get a little bit of cover.”

Richards hasn’t ruled out rolling the dice at Group 1 level during the Adelaide Festival Of Racing if Benz performs to expectations.

“The Euclase is the one we’re looking at but there’s nothing to say if doesn’t go well in that that he won’t run in the Goodwood,” he said.

“That’s always an option … and he’d be down in the weights. That’ll depend on how he goes, though. There’s always next year or the year after.”

The Group 1 Darley Goodwood is run over 1200m on Morphettville on May 20 and, for the first time, carries prizemoney of $1 million.

Richards also saddles up smart mare I Am Gypsy in the Group 3 $120,000 RN Iriwin Stakes (1100m)

I Am Gypsy ran seventh to veteran Riziz in last Saturday’s Oakbank Stakes but the trainer said he had dismissed that performance.

“I’m not sure she handled Oakbank this time,” he said.

“There doesn’t look to be a lot of lightning speed in the race so it might just suit her to be able to roll along in front at her own pace and see what she’s got left at the finish.”

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Originally published as Benz ready to hit top gear

SOURCE: newsnow sport