Star South Australian galloper Behemoth ticked all the required boxes in his final piece of work at Strathalbyn this morning ahead of Saturday’s Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
The last-start Durbridge Stakes winner is right where trainer David Jolly wants him, returning to the scene of his two Group 1 victories in the Memsie and Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes over the Futurity trip during the spring.
“He looked pretty happy, I can’t fault him,” Jolly said.
Jolly said it was a solid hit-out for the horse, who returns to Melbourne for a clash with star Kiwi mare Probabeel, the pair sharing favouritism at $3.50 in all-in betting with tab.com.au.
“He worked with Bajan, they both worked pretty well,” Jolly said.
“It was better work. The other day he dropped the other horse coming up the hill – sometimes they can do that at Strath, lose a bit of concentration. But this morning was a little bit different.”
Most pleasing has been having three weeks between runs and Jolly’s ability to tighten the screws ahead of his Caulfield return.
“He had a little blow before the Durbridge, but after he did what he did, I was pretty happy,” Jolly said.
“He’s had three nice solid gallops since then. I’m happy with where he sits knowing he’s got some improvement. He’s where I want him to be – he’s still got a little bit to come.
“He’s probably not quite where he was heading over there last time but knowing we’ve got the trip over and then heading to mile I think he’s in good place.”
Jolly said the most pleasing aspect of Behemoth’s first-up win had been just how well he settled in the run which will prove vital stepping up in distance as he heads towards the $5m All-Star Mile at Moonee Valley.
“He’s matured again this time around,” Jolly said.
“His racing manners are much better then what they used to be.”