WA Oaks winner Benesari Lane makes her highly anticipated return to the track in tonight’s TABtouch-Diamond Classic Heat (2130m) at Gloucester Park and trainer Ron Huston has issued a word of caution about her prospects first-up from her short break.
Benesari Lane cause a major boilover in last month’s Group 1 event and heads into tonight’s event as one of two key chances.
The filly, to be driven by Corey Peterson, has drawn barrier 10 for her heat, on the back of fellow major chance Bettor Beach Belle, who was fourth in the Oaks.
Trainer Ron Huston said he was happy with the filly after a minor setback following the Oaks.
“She had a foot abscess that blew out about a week after the Oaks,” he told TABradio.
“We got that sorted out and as of yesterday she was bucking her brand off in the paddock.
“She had a trial last Sunday and sat outside a good horse, ran second and did everything I wanted her to do.”
Huston said he was concerned about drawing behind Bettor Beach Belle, having her first start for trainer Nathan Turvey, given Benesari Lane may not be able to get clear running in the home straight.
“The barrier draw is the only sticking point,” he said.
“She’s not known for her sit and kick ability and she’s more of the grinding type of horse.
“Being a heat, I think it will be a walk and sprint but we just have to get through.
“If it was for $50,000 or $100,000 we’d definitely come off and put her into it.
“We will just drive for luck.”
Gary Hall Jnr, who drives Bettor Beach Belle, said he was “reasonably confident” his filly would do enough to win the heat.
“It’s a pretty big draw advantage,” he said.
“You’d imagine she’d (Benesari Lane) probably stay on my back and from there we should be able to control it.”
Hall Jnr also teams up with Machnificent in the first heat of the Pearl Classic and indicated he could “lower the colours” of star colt Lavra Joe.
Tonight’s Diamond and Pearl Classic heats get underway at 5.20.