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New Zealand Racing News
Thursday, June 15 2017

Kelly McCulloch sees no reason why Benzini can't set a new modern-day weight carrying record in Saturday's Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m).

Benzini  - Grant Peters

McCulloch was aboard for Benzini's eye-catching late finish in last Saturday's Gr.2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) at Doomben and gave a glowing report of the Adrian and Harry Bull-trained seven-year-old's effort.

"His run was really good. They walked then sprinted from the 800m so he was no chance really but he felt awesome and I was really happy with him," McCulloch said.

"I'd looked at the field and it appeared there was a lack of pace but I thought they would go harder than they did. But that's just the way to ride him. That's how he races best. He can do things wrong if you bustle him out of the barriers.

"It was just a leader-dominated race that played against him but he ran really well."

McCulloch returned home to Pukekohe after the Brisbane Cup, with the Ipswich Cup only becoming his next target after the Bulls were so happy with the way the Tale Of The Cat gelding had come through his Doomben exertions.

"It doesn't look as strong as last week. He's got 60 kilos but that's indicative of him being a better class of horse. I don't think the weight will stop him," McCulloch said.

Since the metric scale was introduced in 1973, only Maurus with 58kg last year has carried more than 56.5kg to win the Ipswich Cup.

Harry Bull told Racing Queensland he hadn't expected Benzini to get 60kg but he was confident he would handle the weight and the likely heavy conditions.

"I thought he'd get a kilo less as that's what he carried when he finished fourth in the Premier's Cup. I thought 59 was going to be the topweight," Bull said.

"It's a big weight but he has raced well in the past in weight-for-age races at Group One level. He had 59kgs and was a run short when he ran fourth on a heavy track in the Premier's Cup.

"A wet track is not great but he handled the heavy going in the Premier's Cup quite well. His Brisbane Cup run was very good considering the fast time they ran home."

Should Benzini run well at Ipswich, he will tackle the Caloundra Cup (2400m) on July 1.

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 03:13 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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