Ipswich Cup 2017: Benzini’s great run worth the weight for Kiwi trainer
FOR young New Zealand trainer Harry Bull, Benzini has already been the horse of a lifetime.
But Bull feels there’s still enough zest in the seven-year-old’s legs to lift more silverware from the Queensland carnival.
On Saturday Bull will saddle Benzini and impressive last-start Caloundra winner William Wallace (Race 2) at Ipswich.
Off the back of his win in last year’s Brisbane Cup, Benzini earned an invitation to the Hong Kong International meeting where he ran a respectable sixth in the Group 1 Vase.
“He’s given us a great ride and taken me all around the world,” Bull said. “Hong Kong was pretty awesome and a dream come true.”
Bull trains in partnership with his father Adrian at Hunterville, which is “three-quarters of the way down the north island”. “It’s a beautiful part of the world. God’s country,” he said.
Adrian campaigned subsequent Group 1 winner Nashville in Queensland in the winter of 2012 and his failure left Bull Sr hesitant about future Queensland returns.
“He got sick and didn’t really perform at his best and it took four years to convince Dad to come back,” Bull Jr said. It was worth the wait, with Benzini winning last year’s cup.
This year he is racing just as well, but coming up short with bigger weights. After Saturday he will continue to the Caloundra Cup.
“Last year he’d had 14 races before he got here. This year he’d had seven,” Bull said.
“They went a bit slow in the Brisbane Cup and sprinted home. He got caught in behind them and I thought his run was really good.
“Both he and William Wallace will then go to Caloundra.
“That’s where we’re based and people up here have been so good to us.
“It will be good to support the club.”
The Ipswich Cup is a notorious graveyard for heavily weighted horses. Maurus (58kg) bucked the trend last year and now Benzini is being asked to go to another level again with his 60kg impost on Saturday.
“He’s not that big, but he tries his guts out,” Bull said.
Benzini will again be ridden by Kelly McCulloch, who has deputised for her injured sister Rosie Myers on this trip
Myers has been out with a broken leg but Bull said she hoped to make a return for the Caloundra Cup meeting.
“Rosie has just got the green light to get back on a horse and we’re hoping she might be back across for Caloundra Cup day,” he said.
Bull is looking forward to seeing how William Wallace measures up to Saturday class.
“His campaign started off a bit average, but he’s come right,” he said.
“He’s a nice horse with a lot of ability and it’s been a matter of getting him right. It’s a really nice race to see where we are at with him.
Story courtesy Nathan Exelby – Brisbane Courier Mail