LUCK’S a fortune in racing as crack Benicio youngtser found out when finishing a close second in last Saturday’s Group 2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m) at Ascot.

Sent out as the $4.40 favourite off the back of two wins and a nose second in his three previous starts, Benny’s Halo was ideally placed in the middle of the 16 horse field rounding the bend.

From that point on the Neville Smith trained gelding was bailed up in between runners losing momentum when he had to be switched off heels inside the distance.

Benny’s Halo motored home from midfield to just miss the winner for Jeff Berry.  There is no doubt that the gelding was tightened up between runners costing perhaps a length or more and a protest was submitted but subsequently and quickly dismissed.

Chief Steward John Zucal summed up the situation perfectly when he commented “I cannot rule out the fact that Benny’s Halo may have added to his problems by wanting to over race and steel up on the inside of runners.”

Nevertheless this compact son of VRC Derby winner Benicio certainly looks to be a horse with a massive future and he may well take his place in the Sires Produce in a fortnight’s time

”One he got clear he really flew but it was all too late,” Vinery’s Adam White said.

”There’s no doubt if he had a clear run from the top of the straight he would have won, he finished that fast that he was in front a stride after the post. It was a hug run and you have to feel sorry for connections, it was a half a million dollar race.”

While the purse isn’t as large, Benny’s Halo is tipped to gain some solace when he contests the $200,000 Group 3 WATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on April 2.

”He may be better suited at the 1400m than any of the horses that run in the Karrakatta – I know this race has been on the agenda for a long time,” White said.

”With any luck, he should make amends.”



Sunday’s Karrakatta Plate winner, Night War is the latest important update for the Vinery Easter Yearling Sales.  Whilst denying Vinery’s own Benicio his first Stakes winner, the General Nediym filly provided a valuable update to Vinery’s Easter Yearling Draft.

Lot 29, A More Than Ready filly out of Samar.

Pedigree Updates

NIGHT WAR (2008.f. by General Nediym-Samar, by Secret Savings-Nice Choice).
1st WATC (Ascot) Karrakatta P. Gr.2
2nd WATC (Ascot) Magic Millions Perth 2YO Classic

Lucky Moment (2006.f. by Lucky Owners-Samar, by Secret Savings-Nice Choice).
2nd Newcastle Hunters Basketball H.
3rd Hawkesbury RC Castle Hill RSL Club H.