Like Bam-Bam, in the Flintstones, apprentice jockey Renee Forrest is small but she does not lack for vigour and displayed it in good measure to land Benito a winner in the Thunderbolt 1000.
In the 1000m dash nothing started better than the ultimate winner and in his customary pacemaking role Benito simply defied running down.
It was the seventh win for the David Harrison trained gelding, from 14 starts, and all wins have been over this short distance.
When Cool Trade look as if it would run over the top of the son of Due Sasso the four year old find a bit more and was in control on the winning post. Nightingdale Road was third.
Forrest said this Benito was one of her favourite horses and she rides him in all of his work.
“He likes to dictate the pace and is in his element when leading. He sometimes overreaches and is scatter brained, if surrounded, but he is getting more relaxed in his work and races,” she said.
Part-owner Grahaem* Donovan said the horse “had been a steal,” costing only $14,000 as a yearling and has now won almost $242,000 in prize money.
“Bam -Bam combines beautifully with him and they are a couple of bulldogs,” Donovan said.
Donovan has celebrated three times in the last week with Due Sasso sired gallopers but Benito is a firm favourite.
The gelding will start in the Crawford Stakes in a fortnight and Harrison said he would stay at the short sprint distance for the present.
By John Elsegood