iskander

Beneteau nearing racetrack return


paul_messara
Beneteau, the colt Paul Messara rates as the best horse to have come through his stable, is nearing his first public appearance since last year’s autumn carnival.

Although Alverta gave the young trainer his first Group One success in last year’s Coolmore Classic, Messara’s opinion of Beneteau is higher.

“He should trial in two weeks,” Messara said.

“He hurt his back when he was out spelling after his two-year-old preparation and he missed the spring.

“He’s definitely the best horse I’ve ever had through the stable, certainly the most talented.”

The blue blood returned to work in preparation for a spring assault on the Caulfield Guineas but Messara said he wasn’t 100 per cent so he was sent back to the paddock with a view to the autumn.

Messara is excited to have the colt back ready to chase the Group One autumn riches, and said Beneteau could even contest both the Australian Guineas in Melbourne and Randwick Guineas in Sydney in March.

The races are a week apart with the Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 5 and the Randwick Guineas (1600m) seven days later.

“The Guineas distance is fine for him, he’s that much older now, he’s had a good break and he’s bigger and stronger,” Messara said.

A son of Redoute’s Choice out of a full-sister to Alinghi, Beneteau burst onto the scene at the beginning of last year winning his debut on Australia Day at Randwick before heading to Melbourne to claim the Blue Diamond Prelude at his second start.

He was a luckless third in the Group One Blue Diamond as favourite before returning to Sydney to prepare for the Golden Slipper.

His Slipper lead-up was a disappointing sixth in the Skyline Stakes before he ran on strongly for fifth behind Crystal Lily in the Golden Slipper.

Beneteau hasn’t raced since his 1-1/4 lengths sixth to Skilled in the Group One Champagne Stakes in April.

Group One-winning stablemate Alverta has also been back in work for about six weeks following her overseas campaign last year.

“She’s going along well but she’s taking a long time to acclimatise back to Australian conditions,” Messara said.

“She’s still got a bit of a funny coat but she’s in good physical health and hopefully she’s right for the autumn.

“She won’t have an overly taxing autumn with a view more to a race like the Stradbroke in Brisbane or possibly the Winter Stakes.”

Alverta contested two Group Ones in England and another in France in a European preparation which netted a placing in the July Cup at Newmarket won by former Australian Starspangledbanner.