THERE aren’t that many people who can lay claim to having bred, owned and trained a two-year-old winner, Tommy Smith did it with Bounding Away as we remember.
It might not have been the Golden Slipper, but joining the immortal T.J in emulating the feat was Perth horseman Neville Smith who won the first race at Ascot this afternoon with Benicio gelding, Benny’s Halo.
The two-year-old debutante was second last turning for home but quickly overhauled those ahead spearing on to record a thoroughly convincing 1.3-lens win.
Benny’s Halo had finished midfield in his only barrier trial leading into today’s run yet landed some good wagers, backed in from $21 to start $16.
Benny’s Halo is out of the Shovhog mare, Bekisharp, whose own dam is a sister to former high class two-year-old filly, Fickle Hostess, who won the Magic Night Stakes and was fourth in the Golden Slipper.
“It’s a very good two-year-old family,” commented Vinery’s Conor Phelan,” Benny’s Halo’s third dam is Vaindarra who won the Silver Slipper, Gimcrack and Reisling Slipper. It also took the great Marscay to beat her in the Golden Slipper.
“Benny’s Halo is Bekisharp’s first foal, so it’s great for her and Neville to kick off with a Saturday metro winner straight off the bat. He looks a horse of some promise.”