Local trainer Kelso Wood has confirmed stable star Benny’s Buttons is contesting a racing path geared towards an appearance in the 2014 Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7th.
Producing a particularly consistent eight race preparation this time in so far, Wood told AAP he is confident Benny’s Buttons is well-and-truly up to the standard of Queensland’s biggest race; it is just a matter of which avenue to take in the lead up.
“He likes wet tracks and he is under-rated” Wood said.
“The Stradbroke is a race for lightly-weighted horses and we often get rain in June.
“But just which direction we go to get him there I am still deciding.”
Initially outlining this weekend’s Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) as a likely target for the Refuse To Bend gelding next time out, Wood is likely to accept a position in the Group 3 BRC Sprint Classic (1350m) for Benny’s Button on May 17th as a final preparation run ahead of the Stradbroke Handicap three weeks later.
Securing an impressive total of five wins and fourteen places from 28 race starts to date, Benny’s Buttons debuted with an impressive run for second in the www.brc.com.au 2.y.o Plate (1200m) in the autumn of 2010 before breaking through for a maiden win in the Sunrise Designs 2.y.o Handicap (1200m) in his proceeding appearance.
Yet to contest a race outside of his native Queensland, the classy six-year-old arguably hit career best form over the winter of 2011; unlucky to finish second behind Torio’s Quest in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) before overcoming poor position to claim third in the Listed Sunshune Coast Guineas (1600m).
Steadily building to the task this time in, Benny’s Buttons has finished no worse than second in each of his four most recent races; winning the Silky Smooth and Speedy Handicap (1200m) on March 29th and finishing just off the pace of Excellantes in the Listed Hinkler Quality (1200m) last time out.
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