Cranbourne trainer Ray Besanko is convinced that he has a genuine 2013 Australian Guineas contender in his stables after the gritty win by Red Inca at Victoria’s Flemington Racecourse over the weekend.
The three-year-old Stratum gelding, a splurge buy from the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sales, has now won two of their eight career starts after they beat home the Leon Corstens-trained General Groove by a long neck in Saturday’s $80,000 Seascay Handicap (1410m) in what was an emotional win for Besanko.
“More special than you know,” Besanko said of the win which was only his second metro winner.
“That was for my Dad who taught me everything.
“He’s not going so well, but he’ll be watching.”
His father Jack was a successful horse trainer years ago who prepared the 1962 Sydney Cup winner Grand Print and now Besanko hopes he can emulate his dad in training a Group 1 autumn champ.
While there is a big difference in grade from their weekend win to the $600,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) running at Flemington on March 2, Besanko is confident Red Inca has the progression in them.
“It’s all guns forward. I have been working for a long time, and hard to get one as good as this,” he said.
“We’ve had a lot of fair horses, but to get one like this with the promise he has is just fantastic.
“We paid $90,000 for him two years ago at the Magic Millions and that was about $10,000 more than our limit,” he said.
“But it doesn’t matter now, we’ve got it back and we’ve got a good horse to go on with.
“I think he’s got the makings of a really good one.”
They will head towards the Guineas via the $150,000 Group 3 Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1200m) on February 16.
“It’s the C. S. Hayes Stakes next, and if he can run in the first three there then it’s the Guineas,” Besanko confirmed.
A point of frustration up until now for his trainer, Red Inca also hasn’t been the easiest of horses for regular rider Peter Mertens.
“He’s been a lot of hard work,” Mertens said on Saturday.
“Even today he kicked out the back of the gate and got his leg caught up.
“But he got the job done in the end.”
The Australian Guineas is just one of the many elite level features of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival worth a punt in the coming season.
Make sure you don’t miss out on a minute of the action by signing up with the country’s premier online betting site bookmaker.com.au today and be instantly rewarded with a bonus bet valued up to $400 when you deposit and quote the code BONUSBET!