Behemoth has opened a prohibitive $1.40 favourite for the Durbridge Stakes (LR, 1100m) at Morphettville this Saturday even though he’s well below peak fitness.
The Group 1 winning son of All Too Hard stands 17 hands and tips the scales at a massive 600kg when fully wound up. But he won’t strip down to that weight until the $5 million All-Star Mile at Moonee Valley on March 13.
Behemoth is resuming after a 105-day break in the Durbridge and trainer David Jolly will loosen the girth-strap a notch or two in the saddling stalls. “He galloped between races earlier this month and had a good blow after a jump out at Murray Bridge last week,” Jolly said. “We are sort of treating Saturday’s race as another trial and it will be a good battle against a horse like Kemalpasa who is more effective up to 1200m.”
Behemoth is classes above his rivals and that gulf will tell at weight-for-age if he’s anywhere near 100%. Following the first-up outing, his cross-border goals will be the Futurity Stakes (Gr.1, 1400m) at Caulfield on February 20 before peaking in the All-Star Mile (1600m).
Behemoth is chief earner for All Too Hard this season courtesy of a Group 1 double at Caulfield during the spring carnival. The Vinery champion is embedded as an Australian Top 10 stallion for prizemoney ($5.95 million) and individual winners (90).
Another feature double in the autumn would better Behemoth’s spring haul. They’re worth a cool $2.55 million combined and that would signal a push for premierships honours by All Too Hard in the not too distant future.