Scone trainer lands first leg of his cup dream

GREG Bennett completed one dream when Belannoro won Sunday’s $25,000 Jardel Cup (1200m) at Tamworth and next month he’s hoping his talented stayer Kaypers can win him his first Scone Cup.

The Scone trainer, who sits outright third in the HNWRA trainers’ premierships with 25 wins, couldn’t have been more impressed with his mare Belannoro and apprentice Kassie Furness after the pair defied all their rivals to run them down in Sunday’s main support race to the Tamworth Cup.

It was Belannoro’s fourth straight win. 

Whether she goes for a spell or continues on to Scone for a crack at the Country Cup is something the Scone horseman will consider.

He has been mindful too of the big weights she’s been lumping.

“She’s not a big mare, I don’t want to kill her,”  Bennett said after Sunday’s success.

“I might put her away now.”

He was talking to this journalist and fellow trainer Jeff Englebrecht at the time.

Englebrecht reckoned the Country Cup at Scone would be ideal for her while she’s in form.

“Yeah, we could run her around in that,” Bennett said.

“We’ll see what happens.”

Winning the Jardel Cup is something he’s been trying to do with a fleet of fillies and mares and Belannoro completed that.

Kaypers, who won the $85,000 TAB Early Quaddie Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday, could win him a Scone Cup.

The six-year-old gelding, who was third to Speediness in last year’s Scone Cup, has won nine of his 40 starts for more than $366,000 in prizemoney.

His 41st start will be in the May 16 $200,000 Scone Cup (1600m).

“We did the same with him last year,” Bennett recalled.

“He had a month between runs. This time it’s about three weeks. 

“James McDonald rode him last year – rode him like a genius. 

“This time Christian Reith is on and he knows the horse.”

Reith was aboard last Saturday.

Kassie Furness has unsaddled from Belannoro and heads for the scales to weigh out as  co-owners Shane Smith (back left)  and Darryl Goss (centre)  talk to Leader  sports editor Geoff Newling. Photo: Barry Smith 270414BSG07

Kassie Furness has unsaddled from Belannoro and heads for the scales to weigh out as co-owners Shane Smith (back left) and Darryl Goss (centre) talk to Leader sports editor Geoff Newling. Photo: Barry Smith 270414BSG07

While Bennett has never won a Scone Cup, he doesn’t think his gelding has won at the track.

“It would be nice to beat that,” he said.

“But he’s hardly ever raced at home either. 

“Last year’s Cup could have been his first start at the track.”

Bennett has been having another good season and, while he’s just five wins behind Luke Griffith in the HNWRA trainers’ premiership, he also has runners at this Friday’s Muswellbrook meeting, with Traffic running in the $20,000 Darley Country Cup Prelude.

If she wins that she becomes exempt from ballot in the $60,000 Country Cup at Scone and maybe give Bennett another double-pronged Country Cup attack if Belannoro does stay in work to try to cash in on the rich race on her home track.

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