Darley’s quest for a historic clean sweep of Australia’s two year old Group One races rests with talented juvenile Benfica.
Peter Snowden and stable jockey Kerrin McEvoy have won all four Group One races for two year olds this season. Sepoy delivered the Blue Diamond and the Golden Slipper while Helmet took out the AJC Sires Produces and the Champagne Stakes.
McEvoy will partner Benfica in the 1600m TJ Smith Stakes at Eagle Farm this weekend and despite his less than impressive showing in the BRC Sires Produce, McEvoy believes his mount is a live chance in the race.
“I’m looking forward to him stepping up to the mile.” McEvoy said.
“We just had the little hiccup at the barriers the other day. If we begin well we’ll go forward and put him in a forward spot on Saturday.”
Benfica’s stable mate Free Wheeling reared in the barriers before the BRC Sires Produce, and Benfica, who was in the adjacent barrier came out slowly.
“It was just a stuff up once we missed the start,” said McEvoy.
“It was going to be hard for him from there given the way the race was run. He’s going to improve out of that and stepping up to the mile I’m sure he’s going to enjoy that as well.”
McEvoy said that it would he would be proud to be a part of the Darley sweep of the two year old Group Ones.
“It definitely be a nice milestone to take home the whole sweep of the two year old Group Ones,” said McEvoy.
“We’ll be out there trying to do our best on Saturday to achieve it.”
Benfica is currently on the third line of betting in the TJ Smith at $5.00. the Gerald Ryan trained Hot Snitzel is currently the favourite at $2.10, while Fontelina, for Anthony Cummings is also in the market at $3.60. Chasing