Hawkesbury trainer Garry Frazer won’t mind taking Go Benny to Newcastle whenever there is a race to suit. Especially if he can get Australia’s winningest jockey Robert Thompson to ride the gelding.
With Thompson aboard, Go Benny on Thursday won his third race – and all have been at Newcastle – with a last to first performance in the Benchmark 60 Handicap (2340m). Making light of his 62kg topweight, Go Benny ($4.60 favourite) outstayed Southern Delight ($9.50) and Suggestapartner ($6.50).
Go Benny, a four-year-old by 2009 VRC Derby winner Monaco Consul, has raced only four times at Newcastle – and almost has a perfect record at the venue. He was narrowly beaten in a 1250m Maiden Plate on the Beaumont (inside) track in March last year before Thompson linked up with him for consecutive victories over 2000m (Maiden Plate) and 2200m (Class 1 Plate) on the same circuit on November 5 and 19.
Thursday’s meeting was scheduled for the Beaumont track, but was switched to the course proper after stewards inspected it earlier in the week following consistent rain. It made no difference to Go Benny, who gave his rivals a big start but relished the fast pace set midway through the event by Stroke Of Eight and Justaway, who both not surprisingly tired to tail the field home.
Stewards later questioned both Travis Wolfgram (Stroke Of Eight) and Josh Adams (Justaway) on their riding tactics. Thompson said the fast pace had undoubtedly assisted Go Benny’s chances.
“They got rolling down the back straight, and it suited my bloke,” he said. “It was a good staying effort.”
Frazer, who made the trip to Newcastle despite not feeling well, said Go Benny had the makings of a good stayer: “For some reason, he has taken a while to find his form again this preparation, but that was a really good performance,” he said.
Hawkesbury trainers Jason Attard (Reiby Rampart in the Benchmark 81 Handicap, 1400m) and Ethne Potowski (Lion Couchant in the Benchmark 78 Handicap, 1000m) are seeking Royal Randwick wins on Saturday.