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Dubai World Cup

Benny the Bull – at the top of his form
by Handicappers / Globeform
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North Americans are always very strong in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1), the big sprint race on Dubai World Cup night, and their team is this year headed by the five-year-old Benny the Bull, who produced his career best last time he ran.


5 dkb / br h Lucky Lionel – Comet Cat / Birdonthewire

Trainer: Richard Dutrow Jr.

Judged on his win in the Sunshine Millions Sprint at Gulfstream Park in January, there is one big difference in Benny the Bull this year; he has gained better tactical speed and is now able to stay much closer to the pace. That makes him a seriously effective sprinter who must have a big chance in at Nad Al Sheba.

The Sunshine Millions Sprint, run over 6 furlongs at Gulfstream Park in January, was not as hotly contested as the Grade Ones he ran in last fall, but it was still noticeable how well he travelled – sitting just off a pace producing these fractions; 21.9, 44.5 and 56.4. That is not exactly a leisurely pace and Benny the Bull was just a length or so off the track record as he stopped the clocks in 1:08.48. He made a strong move early in the straight, finding a nice gap by the rail, and powered away for an easy 4 ½-length win over Santana Strings, with Mach Ride ¾ lengths further back in third.

Benny the Bull is a strong contender for championship honors this season. He closed out his 2006 campaign with a fine win in the De Francis Memorial Dash (G1) at Laurel Park, where he beat Talent Search by 1 ¼ lengths over 6 furlongs. Many horses, especially placed horses, take a bad ‘bounce’ next time out after the Breeders’ Cup but Benny the Bull was as good as ever at Laurel. Impressive, not least since he had come up against a totally unsuitable (sloppy) track in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Monmouth four weeks earlier, yet managed fourth, behind Midnight Lute, Idiot Proof and Talent Search. He’s tough.

Benny the Bull has won 6 of his 14 races and he has been second or third three times. This gives us a 64% strike rate in the top three, a figure that is quite likely to improve in 2007. Six furlongs and a fast track is ideal for this son of Lucky Lionel, but it will be interesting to see him over seven, as his style might make him even more effective with another furlong. This is a sprinter with plenty of options, in other words.

Published: 2008-03-12 04:38:26

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