GOOLWA horseman David Jolly is hoping the forecast of minimal rain in Adelaide in the lead-up to Saturday’s $120,000 Group 3 Spring Stakes will prove accurate when Behemoth returns to racing.
The talented gelding hasn’t started since a slashing effort in the Group 1 Goodwood at Morphettville in May and the last thing Jolly and connections want would be a heavy track first-up in what looms as a big campaign.
“Ideally we’d like the track to be somewhere in the soft 6 range where it’s been this week,” Jolly said.
“The last thing you’d want is for a horse like him to have a gut buster first-up on a heavy track, so hopefully the rain stays away.”
Jolly and his owners, Grand Syndications, have maintained a firm focus on the 2020 spring with Behemoth.
He had a light Adelaide Autumn Carnival where he finished second in the DC McKay Stakes, only to be upgraded to the winner with the disqualification of Jungle Edge on Thursday, before he flashed home from the back to be beaten 2.3 lengths behind Trekking in South Australia’s premier sprint feature.
“After the Goodwood we only gave him a couple of weeks off,” Jolly said.
“We just thought that would be better for him, rather than a long spell and then having to pour a lot of work into him through the middle of winter.”
Behemoth rounded out his Spring Stakes preparations with an impressive Balaklava trial win on August 6 and Jolly said the horse would more than likely find his way to Melbourne after Saturday.
And that could mean bumping into some big-name spring contenders like Mystic Journey, Arcadia Queen and Regal Power.
“We’re thinking he might go to the Memsie but we will just see how everything pans out,” Jolly said.
“Obviously, there is also the Penny Edition (the race he won last year) over 1400m back at Morphettville in a fortnight, so we will just see what he does on Saturday.”
The Spring Stakes will again be a launching pad for Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas’ Dalasan, who announced himself last year when he charged home to beat subsequent Group 1 winner Scales Of Justice.
He hasn’t raced since his game run behind potential superstar Russian Camelot in the Group 1 SA Derby at Morphettville in May.
Saturday’s Morphettville meeting will showcase the best horse flesh SA will see until next year’s Adelaide Festival of Racing.
Behemoth and Dalasan both have Group 1 aspirations, while the Gordon Richards-trained trio of Everest hopeful Gytrash, Bold Star and Garner will gallop between races to add another dimension to the meeting.
And Macdonald and Gluyas will also step out a pair of three-year-olds, Extra Time in the Spring Stakes and So You Can, early in the day. Both are among Caulfield Guineas nominations, along with Will Clarken’s The Multiplier, who debuts after winning two recent trials.
For all of Lincoln Moore's analysis and tips for all nine races on Spring Stakes Day, click here.