It has been 18 months since Bennetta won a race but trainer Grahame Begg is struggling to find a negative aspect about the mare’s chances in the Civic Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.
Bennetta returns to Sydney racing after a two-start Queensland campaign and despite her long absence from the winner’s stall – and five rivals from the Chris Waller stable – she appeals as a class runner in an off-season Listed event.
“She’s been back about a week from Brisbane and it just looks a nice race for her,” Begg said.
“And she’s been well treated too I’d say at the weights, so it all looks pretty positive.”
Coming off a close fourth to Big Money in the Healy Stakes when she closed from the back of the field, Bennetta has made life easier for her trainer since getting home.
“I haven’t had to do too much with her, just keep her ticking over,” Begg said.
“I haven’t given her any fast work at all since she ran in Brisbane because a trip is a bit like having another run.”
Jeff Lloyd rides Bennetta for the first time as the mare tries for her first win since her three-year-old days when she claimed the Group Two Light Fingers Stakes.
Bookmakers have made her a $3.50 favourite in opening markets, an assessment Begg says reflects a Healy Stakes run that had more merit than it looked.
“She got too far out of her ground in the Healy and she did a good job to get as close as she did,” Begg said.
The Civic Stakes has attracted 11 acceptors including Waller’s quintet of Tromso, Coup Ay Tee, Tougher Than Ever, Hidden Kisses and He’s Your Man.
But it is Taxmeifyoucan, another horse who hasn’t won this season, who holds down second favouritism at $6 after his gritty last-start placing behind Scream Machine.
Waller has 16 acceptors at Rosehill with his Civic Stakes representation matching his numbers in the Sydney Spring Carnival On Sale Now Handicap.
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