Jolly’s be­lief in fully-fit Be­he­moth

The Advertiser - - SPORT - LIN­COLN MOORE

IN 2019, Todd Pan­nell was the neme­sis and to­day he’s the man in the hot seat as Be­he­moth chases Group 1 Good­wood (1200m) re­demp­tion for con­nec­tions.

It was the tale of two very dif­fer­ent sto­ries last year.

Pan­nell landed his maiden Group 1 suc­cess aboard Des­patch, while bar­gain buy Be­he­moth was the un­lucky run­ner when he was held-up deep into the home straight be­fore flash­ing home to be nar­rowly beaten.

Fast for­ward a year and trainer David Jolly is con­fi­dent that his horse is in even bet­ter shape.

He’s had just one run in the lead-up, clos­ing smartly in his sec­ond-plac­ing be­hind Jun­gle Edge in the DC McKay Stakes over 1100m

“This year he’s just a much dif­fer­ent horse,” said Jolly, who pro­duced Zip Zip Ar­ray to win the 2002 Good­wood.

“He had some nig­gles last year dur­ing that cam­paign and this time around he’s in good shape.

“I think you can be con­fi­dent in your own horse, but you don’t re­ally know how well every­one else is go­ing.

“Hav­ing had horses in this race be­fore, I think it’s an ad­van­tage to have a fresh horse peak­ing at the right time.”

Last year’s Good­wood launched a suc­cess­ful Syd­ney cam­paign.

De­spite nig­gling foot is­sues, the horse pro­duced a mas­sive run to nar­rowly miss a place be­hind Kold­ing in the $7.5 mil­lion Golden Ea­gle, a cam­paign that has been the mak­ing of the gi­ant ch­est­nut.

“Syd­ney cer­tainly turned him around, it re­ally changed the horse’s at­ti­tude,” Jolly said.

“He’d live a pretty pro­tected life down here at Goolwa be­fore that, he was a bit can­tan­ker­ous, but he’s ma­tured up and ev­ery­thing seems much eas­ier to him now.

“He’s much eas­ier to deal with and he’s got a lot ahead of him.”

Orig­i­nally sold for $120,000 as a wean­ling, Team Grand picked the horse up for $6000 af­ter fail­ing as a pin­hook­ing – ready to race – op­tion

“We picked him up for a song,” Team Grand’s Sam Lyons said.

“He was a big gross in­di­vid­ual. He didn’t, and still doesn’t, have the pret­ti­est head on him, but John Price cer­tainly saw some­thing in him.”

Lyons said Be­he­moth is a glow­ing ex­am­ple of what his Grand syn­di­cates do, and that is try and find af­ford­able horses that can of­fer own­ers plenty of fun.

“We knocked back some very, very sig­nif­i­cant of­fers early in his ca­reer, he’s al­ready man­aged to put $730,000 in the bank – you could ar­gue this prep is the first time he’s go­ing to be at the peak of his pow­ers,” Lyons said.

“Our com­pany is ba­si­cally built on the fact we don’t think you need to spend a for­tune to have fun at the races.

“We try to find the horses who slip through the other sales. We’re try­ing to of­fer a lower price point for peo­ple to get in­volved. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a bit of fun.”

And Lyons is con­fi­dent the big boy can de­liver on the big stage.

“He can ab­so­lutely win, there is no ques­tion about it,” Lyons said.

“I love ev­ery­thing about the bar­rier draw.

“It’s a rip­per race com­pared to last year, there is no ques­tion it’s a bet­ter race, but there is no ques­tion we take in a bet­ter horse, he’s been tar­geted at this.

“He’s a big win­ning chance.”

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