Behemoth will be looking to replicate his feats of last year in this Saturday’s Group 1 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield, with the South Australian galloper’s managing owner saying he is “airborne”.
The six-year-old gelding boasts one of racing’s best rags-to-riches stories, racking up over $2.5 million in prizemoney after going for just $6,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
Behemoth resumed a winner at Morphettville on August 14 in the Spring Stakes after a successful protest promoted him from second to first.
The aptly named horse won the Spring Stakes 12 months ago en route to winning the Memsie a fortnight later, so his owners at Grand Syndications will be hoping for a similar outcome again this weekend.
“It’s exciting getting him over here (Melbourne) again, obviously he won the race last year and it kicked off a pretty good winning run for him,” managing owner Sam Lyons told SEN Track.
“We think he’s going as good as ever and we’re happy to be back.
“Kayla Crowther, who does so much of his work at home, she genuinely thinks he’s as good as he’s ever been.
“I love it when Kayla is bullish; she’s often very, very right.
“So whatever is happening down there, whatever is in the water at Gawler, he’s enjoying this time in.”
Behemoth was an impressive 1.5-length winner in last year’s Memsie Stakes, defeating Group 1 winner Mr Quickie and one of the top three-year-olds at the time, Glenfiddich.
The son of All Too Hard will carry 59kg again on Saturday under weight-for-age conditions, which again sees him very well weighted with his 113 rating.
Although last year’s winning jockey, Craig Williams, has hopped off Behemoth to partner Tofane – a mare he won both the Stradbroke Handicap and Tatts Tiara on during the Brisbane Winter Carnival – Behemoth fans can rest assured that their boy is in good hands on Saturday with Jamie Kah taking over the riding duties.
“If he shows up and does what he did last year, I don’t think anyone would disagree but they wouldn’t beat him,” Lyons said.
“Obviously it takes a lot to show up and do it at that level again, but he’s got the form on the board.
“His run first-up was extremely good; the margin might not have been there, but he bumped into a very fit horse, Beau Rossa, who is going very well.
“Todd Pannell on Beau Rossa set the race up perfectly for himself and when he stacked them up and kicked clear at the top, for our bloke to have run him down, lose momentum, nearly get knocked over and then come again, I think he’s airborne.
“It would have to see a regression from him for him to not go very, very good on Saturday. We’ve just never seen him do that, so I’m very happy with where he’s at and I think he’s going to be very, very hard to beat.”
Behemoth is the $4.20 favourite in the 2021 Memsie Stakes betting market, with the final field and barrier draw yet to be finalised.