Bennetta Bypasses Tiara for 2014 WJ Healy Stakes

Sydney mare Bennetta won’t be stepped up to Group 1 company in the Tattersall’s Tiara this weekend, trainer Grahame Begg instead running her against the boys in the WJ Healy Stakes 2014.


Bennetta will be out to break a 16-month drought in Saturday's 2014 WJ Healy Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart.

While the $500,000 Group 1 SKY Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) isn’t out of the General Nediym four-year-olds’ grasp, the Randwick-based Begg believes a step back in distance at Eagle Farm will give Bennetta a better chance of some Black Type success on Saturday.

The dual Tattersall’s Tiara Day nominee will then come out of the elite level and accept for the $175,000 Group 3 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m).

A winner of just three of her 15 career starts to date Bennetta hasn’t won a race since the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill in February last year.

Begg then is hoping to break the lengthy drought in the WJ Healy on Saturday with Bennetta racing fourth-up for the season.

“I think we just need to drop her back a peg and try to win a race with her more so than running a nice fourth or fifth,” Begg said on TVN this week.

“She has only had three runs this time in and run well in two out of the three and her other start was in the weight-for-age Group 1.”

She kicked off at home this prep in Sydney with a third in the Group 3 Sebring Stakes (1200m) in the mud where she ran on well behind Flamberge despite the Heavy (8) track.

Next start she was never in the mix when sixth to Japanese raider Hana’s Goal in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m), the form of the Randwick feature not really holding this season.

She then made her Queensland debut last time out on May 31 at Eagle Farm on Oaks Day in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m).

There she enjoyed a firm track, sunshine and a nice barrier five draw with Kerrin McEvoy guiding her to a close third.

Bennetta was beaten just under half a length by the winner Sacred Star there where she flashed home and only just missed out.

That’s an effort Begg is keen for her to atone with the drop back to 1200m hopefully working to her advantage.

In the WJ Healy Bennetta has been allocated 55kg, two kilos less than she’d carry under the weight-for-age conditions of the Tattersall’s.

It’s still a notable rise though from the 53kg she got into the QTC Cup field with.

“The main thing is that she isn’t well suited at weight-for-age, she meets some of the better mares at level weights,” Begg said.

He was also quick to rule out rumours of the mare’s retirement after the WJ Healy where Tommy Berry, over from Hong Kong for the Tatt’s Tiara ride on Dane Ripper winner Cosmic Endeavour, has been booked for the ride.

“There is no suggestion at this stage she would be retired after Saturday, more or less trying to get her back to winning a race,” he added.

WJ Healy Stakes weights are led by the defending champ Howmuchdoyouloveme with 60kg, a kilo less than the big weight Con Karakatsanis’ Written Tycoon five-year-old had last start when seventh in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m).

Lightning Handicap winner Cape Kidnappers is also nominated for Saturday’s showdown with 58kg going up from their last start winning weight of 56.5kg.

The WJ Healy Stakes 2014 final acceptances close tomorrow morning with the field to follow.

Make sure you have your account open now then so you can back all your favourites in Brisbane at the best prices this weekend.


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