Slot Holder: The Star
Breeding: All Too Hard – Penny Banger
Trainer: David Jolly
Owners: The Grand, Mr B L Hannon, 21St Century Racing Pty Ltd, Mr A J Devine, Mr C J Downie, Mr V Francesca, Samui Racing, Mr B M McGilvray, Mr P Neuberger, The Quine Boys Inc, Mr M J Smith, Mr T J Thompson, Ms L M Woodroffe, T A Fletcher
Jockey: Nash Rawiller
If his fellow South Australian Gytrash is the giant killer, then Behemoth is just the giant of his home state.
A year ago he was a $6000 horse chasing the lion’s share of $7.5 million but Behemoth, the giant of South Australian racing, will be back in Sydney in October with the stakes doubled.
The five-year-old, a dual Group 1 winner at 1400m this preparation who stands over 17 hands, has been snapped up by The Star to run in its slot in the $15m TAB Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick much to the delight of Grand Syndicates who took the punt on the bargain buy.
Sam Lyons, racing manager for Grand, said it’s a ‘dream come true’ for the ownership group to have a runner in the TAB Everest and is adamant he’s not there to make up the numbers.
Behemoth’s selection means Grand has chances in the two feature races on TAB Everest day as they also syndicated ruling The Kosciuszko favourite It’s Me.
“This year the horse has gone and put the writing on the wall himself and shown not just potentially more but now ‘bang I’m here and I’m ready’,” Lyons said.
“There’s a real sense of timing about him going into this Everest.
“I don’t think there’s going to be a horse that’s in better form going into the race. He’s going to go there a two time Group 1 winner shooting for four wins in a row.’’
Behemoth has come a long way since that two start campaign in Sydney last spring which culminated in a fourth placing behind Kolding in the $7.5m Golden Eagle.
Trainer David Jolly took him back to Adelaide for a Group 3 win in the McKay Stakes and a fourth behind Trekking and Gytrash in the Group 1 Goodwood.
But this spring he’s come of age winning the Group 3 Spring Stakes over 1200m prior to his Group 1 double in the Memsie Stakes at weight-for-age and last Saturday’s Sir Rupert Clarke under 60kg.
“He was held up and had no momentum when the gap opened up,’’ Lyons said of his last start win.
“He went from zero to putting three lengths on most of them in a few strides. If that wasn’t enough to get him an Everest spot I don’t know what else a horse could do.