Benchester boxed for city breakthrough

A gutsy Meadows debut last weekend has record-breaking provincial speedster Benchester primed to open his city account tonight.

After winning 19 of 42 starts in the bush, Junortoun trainer Mark Morrissey finally elected to bring Benchester to town in peak form, with the Shepparton Cup finalist breaking track records at two of his previous three starts.

Benchester broke the 385m record at Shepparton (21.42s) on October 26, before adding Horsham’s 410m benchmark (22.66s) to his resume on November 10.

“His strength is a worry. It’s pretty hard to do it at both ends,” Morrissey said.

“For that reason I put off bringing him to the city until he was at the top of his game.

“I did get him to this point a while ago and gave him a box-to-box at The Meadows. He absolutely flew but he hurt a hock so we were back to square one and had to start again.

“He broke in average I’d say but he’s just a mad chaser and he’s kept improving and got faster as he’s got older.”

“He broke in average I’d say but he’s just a mad chaser and he’s kept improving and got faster as he’s got older.”

Benchester stepped beyond 500m for the first time at The Meadows last Saturday where he wasn’t able to cross from box seven and endured a lengthy buffeting duel with eventual winner Javi before running a brave third.

“I was really happy with the effort,” Morrissey said.

“He’s just mad for the fence and it was more him pushing on the other dog trying to get across. He got about three-quarters in front but tried to cross too soon and that’s when he got checked.

“I thought he missed the start a bit as well but the leader (Javi) ran 5.02s so he would have had to smash 5 seconds to get across.

“He’s not a dog that normally comes from behind. He gets out, gets to the fence and tries his hardest.”

With Benchester’s affinity for the rails, the move to box two is a major plus for the third event on tonight’s card, to jump at 7.07pm, where he’s TAB’s $3.80 second elect behind Angela Langton’s $3.40 favourite Jepara (box 7).

“He pulled up good and he’s definitely better suited near the rail,” said Morrissey.

“He has gone up in grade this week. He ran third in a grade 5 last week and he’s gone to a Mixed Stake.

“I’m just hoping he runs the splits he’s shown in his trials – 5.02 to 5.05s and 17.60 to 17.65s and then he only has to run home in 12.30s to run 29.95 to 30.00s.

“We’ll see how he goes but the Ballarat Cup heats are on the following Saturday and he’s just turned three so we might as well have a go at it.”

WATCH: Benchester (4) becomes a dual track record holder with a sizzling Horsham victory in 22.66sec.

Related posts