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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Thursday, March 30 2017

Benzini is already a family favourite.

Benzini and Kelly McCulloch - Trish DunellPrepared by father-and-son trainers Adrian and Harry Bull, Benzini is the regular ride of Manawatu jockey Rosie Myers, whose current injury situation has fallen in the favour her big sister, Kelly McCulloch.

Myers broke her leg in a jump-out fall at Wanganui earlier this month which has paved the way for McCulloch to take the ride on Benzini in Saturday's Gr.2 City Of Palmerston North Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) on Saturday.

McCulloch has had five rides on Benzini for two wins and was relishing her opportunity to partner the Tale Of The Cat seven-year-old gelding on Saturday, especially in the wake of his narrow last-start Group One second placing in this month's New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie.

However, she couldn't help but feel for her sister.

"It's disappointing for Rosie, especially after he went such a big race for her at Ellerslie last time. I just hope she can be back in time to ride him in Brisbane," McCulloch said.

"It was a huge run at Ellerslie and, on that run, he's going to be very hard to beat on Saturday. It's a pretty competitive field though and Scapolo, on his run the other day, will be tough to bowl too, so it won't be easy."

Benzini finished sixth in last year's Awapuni Gold Cup on his way to winning the Gr.2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) for Myers, though he was dropping back in distance from the Auckland Cup (3200m) 12 months ago rather than producing such a rousing 2000m leadup this year.

McCulloch has seven rides at Awapuni, four in stakes races, her other black-type mounts including Divine Power in the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m), Rosetta in the Gr.3 Higgins Concrete Manawatu Classic (2000m) and Mighty Solomon in the Listed Cafe Cuba Flying Handicap (1400m).

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 02:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email