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Alpha male, spoilt, The King: Belligerent Behemoth one of a kind

If he’s not travelling around the country winning races there’s a good chance you’ll find the star of David Jolly’s Goolwa stable, Behemoth, enjoying the surf at the nearby beach.

He trains at his “happy place” three to four times a week and unlike his stable mates who are scared of the crashing waves, the aptly named Behemoth doesn’t flinch.

“He loves it down there, he loves getting in the water and a lot of the horses are afraid of the breakers they’re quite big but he gets in there and he loves to have a splash around,” said trainer David Jolly.

“The others look at him and think he’s mad I think. It’s a unique place that we train at and obviously he is a horse that enjoys it.”

Even though the star galloper is one of the most popular horses in the country, Behemoth prefers to keep to himself. He lives up the back of Jolly’s Fleurieu Peninsula stables, away from the others – which is just the way he likes it.

“He’s quite strange in that way,” Jolly explains. “He is a horse that likes his own company. He’s not very needy, you never hear him singing out for a mate or anything like that which is quite unusual for a race horse - they usually love the company of others. He doesn’t like humans all that much either.

“He is very much the alpha male. There’s particular horses I wouldn’t say he likes, but he tolerates. We’ve got to pair him up with a horse that’s acceptable to him so he’s very much the king.

“He’s got everything he wants down here so he is a bit spoilt as you can see.”

Behemoth’s preparations for the $5 million All-Star Mile ramped up on the weekend with a gallop between races at nearby Strathalbyn. He’ll also trial in the coming weeks ahead of the $100,000 Durbridge Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on January 29, and then most likely the Futurity Stakes on February 26.

Voting for the All-Star Mile opens on Monday, January 24, and after being among the highest vote getters last year Jolly says his stable star will be raring to go come March 19 at Flemington.

“Obviously his main targets are in Melbourne but it’s fantastic to have a kick-off race in Adelaide for him where he can show his wares and we can make sure he’s going alright before he has a trip across there,” Jolly said.

“So it’s really good that there’s these couple of weight for age races at a certain type of year that really suit him.

“At this stage he’ll run in the Durbridge, the Futurity then the All-Star Mile which is the three races he ran in last year.

“This year he’s had a good spell. We finished him up early in the Spring and we really concentrated on these three races. He won the Durbridge last year, was very competitive and ran fourth in the Futurity, and third in the All-Star Mile.”

And Jolly believes after skipping The Everest last October, Behemoth’s long break will help bring the best out of the three time Group 1 winner who’s already amassed over $3 million in prize money

“I feel as though with a better preparation we’ll get another length or two out of him,” he said.

“He’s a once in a lifetime horse. When you get a smaller stable like this they’re rare and you never really know where they’re coming from or where they’ll end up.

“Obviously he was an inexpensive yearling. It’s one of those situations I think where he’s been so big as well, and taken so long to develop.

"I think we were quite lucky we found each other.”

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