John O’Shea is hopeful Benaud can return to winning form when he lines-up in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) on Saturday.
While he has been Group placed on several occasions, including runner-up in the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m), the son of Reliable Man hasn’t won since his debut over 1400m two years ago and O’Shea is keen to rectify that this weekend.
“We are happy with how he is going,” O’Shea told RSN.
“He has only run in three or four races where he was a genuine winning chance in the sense of right trip, right track scenarios.
“This preparation, the first time he was a winning chance was in the Chairman’s (Gr.2, 2600m) and he copped a Heavy10 and it was a very biased track on the day and he was in the wrong part of it.
“He will get into a race on Saturday where he is a good winning chance because he is a good mile-and-a-half horse and he will map pretty well. I think he will give a good account of himself.”
Out of prolific producer Baggy Green, Benaud is a half-brother to Group One winners Tofane and No Compromise.
O’Shea purchased Benaud out of Valachi Downs’ 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $280,000 in partnership with Laurel Oak Bloodstock.
O’Shea is also looking forward to racing at Hawkesbury on Saturday, where New Zealand-bred filly Avebury will contest the Gr.3 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m).
The daughter of Savabeel has won two races to date, including the Listed Canberra Guineas (1400m) and O’Shea is keen to add another stakes win to her tally this weekend.
“Avebury has drawn a bit awkwardly (10). She is a filly that copped a heavy track the other day and could quite easily bounce back,” he said.
Meanwhile, O’Shea has been pleased with the way Lost And Running has bounced through his unplaced run un the Gr.1 All-Aged Stakes (1400m) and is looking forward to taking the Per Incanto six-year-old to the Queensland Winter Carnival.
“From what was a torrid day for him, he is thriving at the beach now,” O’Shea said.
“We are just desperate to get him back on top of the ground from a nice barrier. He is at the beach now for a fortnight and then he will come back for a trial.
“He can then go to Queensland for the Kingsford-Smith (Gr.1, 1300m) and see if we can turn things around.
“We are really happy with how he is going, we will just draw a line through last Saturday and give him another chance in a month or two.”
– NZ Racing Desk