The blue-blooded Benaud (Reliable Man) picked up the first stakes win of his career in Friday’s A$240,000 Listed Carlton Wyong Gold Cup (2100m), adding even more black type to an extraordinary pedigree page.
The son of Reliable Man had previously been a three-time placegetter at Group level, including a runner-up finish behind Hitotsu in last year’s Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick.
Benaud’s form was below his best last season, but trainer John O’Shea sent him to Wyong in July for what he hoped would be a confidence-boosting run in Class 1 company. He duly scored a six-length win over 2100m, setting himself up for Friday’s black-type assignment over the same course and distance.
The Wyong Gold Cup was marred by a horror fall mid-race, when The Mediterranean suffered a catastrophic injury and Kalapour and Pretty Amazing were both brought down. But Benaud and jockey Dylan Gibbons avoided the incident and rounded the home turn in fourth place, poised to pounce in the final 400m.
Benaud lengthened stride powerfully down the straight, finishing over the top of Bois D’Argent to win by half a length.
The Wyong Gold Cup was the third win of a 22-start career for Benaud, who has banked A$726,230 in stakes.
“He is going good,” O’Shea said. “We’d given him one trial and a nice, strong piece of work on Tuesday morning. He was well weighted, he’s had a win at the track before, and it was a nice race for him to get back in the game.”
Benaud was bred by Kevin Hickman and is now the third stakes winner out of the Galileo mare Baggy Green. The prolific broodmare is also the dam of Group One winners Tofane and No Compromise.
O’Shea purchased Benaud out of Valachi Downs’ 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $280,000 in partnership with Laurel Oak Bloodstock. – NZ Racing Desk.