Green says extra 200m in Belmont Guineas will suit Benji’s

Trainer Cliff Green says Benji’s improvement including since his fourth in the Raconteur Stakes (1400m) gives him confidence he will run a good race on Saturday. Picture: Anita McInnes

TRAINER Cliff Green is quietly confident Benji’s will finish in the top five in the WAROA-Belmont Guineas (1600m) on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Benji’s improvement between every run including since his fourth in the Raconteur Stakes (1400m) on June 5 has given Green confidence he will run a good race.

Green also believes the extra 200m in the Belmont Guineas will suit his three-year-old.

The Gingin trainer said while he expected a top-five finish he did not expect Benji’s to win as all the horses he was up against on Saturday were good.

With Benji’s being a back marker, he was less confident if there was a deluge of rain.

“(But) we’ll get a good measure on him after this race unless the track is chopped up,’’ he said.

He described Benji’s as still a big kid learning his trade and who had been stepped up as he had shown ability.

In his first start he had been off the bridle the whole race but picked up late to run a quick last 200m then in his third start he had run the second fastest 600m in the Raconteur behind the winner Graceful Girl.

While still developing including mentally the 17hh son of Toorak Toff and La Fantastique is very athletic and Green expects him to perform a lot better next preparation.

“I wasn’t going to run him in the Guineas as he needs time for the penny to drop – so after this he’ll go for a spell.’’

Jockey Steven Parnham retains the ride on Benji’s who has drawn barrier four.

With set weights of 56.5kg for colts and geldings in the Belmont Guineas, Benji’s will carry the same as the favourite Billy Ain’t Silly.

Fillies including the Adam Durrant-trained Tri For Us will carry 54.5kg.