Ben­zini stands up for Bulls

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Taihape - MAT KERMEEN

Ben­zini has flown the Kiwi flag with pride in fin­ish­ing sixth on one of horse rac­ing’s big­gest days.

The New Zealand-trained stayer was tak­ing on some of the best gal­lop­ers in the world in the Group I Longines Hong Kong Vase in front of more than 80,000 pun­ters at Sha Tin on Sun­day evening (NZT).

Ben­zini, a $137 out­sider to win the race, is trained at Hun­ter­ville, less than an hour’s drive in­land from Whanganui, by fa­ther and son team Adrian and Harry Bull.

The sixth plac­ing ex­ceeds the ex­pec­ta­tions of what many Ki­wis ex­pected in the race worth $2.9 mil­lion.

Ben­zini’s sixth plac­ing will net the Bull fam­ily, who own the horse, around $60,000.

Sun­day’s race was won by 20-1 shot Satono Crown, in the hands of cham­pion jockey Joao Mor­eira, for Ja­panese trainer Ha­jime Satomi.

Last year’s win­ner High­land Reel, a $1.50 favourite, was half a head be­hind in sec­ond.

Ben­zini’s reg­u­lar jockey Rosie My­ers made the most of the op­por­tu­nity as she made all the right moves to give her mount the most eco­nom­i­cal trip she could have over the 2400m jour­ney.

My­ers set­tled Ben­zini at the pack of the back from their wide draw and hugged the rail all the way.

They were held up in the run home but with 150m to run Ben­zini looked a mas­sive chance of run­ning third.

He was un­able to catch the even­tual third placeget­ter One Foot In Heaven and then was only run down by Nuovo Record and Smart Layer in the shad­ows of the post to be pushed back to sixth.

There was a New Zealand flavour to the 1200m Hong Kong Sprint when Aerov­e­loc­ity, trained by ex­pat Paul O’Sul­li­van, re­peated his win in the race of two years ago.

‘‘He gives ev­ery­thing he’s got. I had a lovely run and he am­bled up. He’s all heart,’’ said win­ning jockey Zac Pur­ton.

Aerov­e­loc­ity beat Lucky Bub­bles by a short head with last year’s win­ner Pe­nia­pho­bia, who led for much of the race, three-quar­ters of a length third.

Aerov­e­loc­ity was bred by Wind­sor Park Stud’s Nel­son Schick and Steve Till, be­ing by Waikato Stud stal­lion out of a Kaap­stad mare, Ex­o­dus.

Ja­panese horse, Satono Crown, won the Hong Kong Vase (2400m).

Ben­zini and Rosie My­ers have done New Zealand proud at one of the world’s most pres­ti­gious race meet­ings.

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