Easier spring kick-off for exciting Benedetta

With a potential long campaign ahead, trainer Jason Warren has chosen a softer option as the kick-off point for Benedetta.

With the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in October the primary spring goal, Warren has elected to start Benedetta’s campaign in the Jockeys Celebration Day Sprint (1100m), a benchmark 84 race, at Flemington on Saturday.

Warren also had the four-time winner from six starts entered in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) on Saturday but opted for the shorter race instead.

“We’ve only had one trial going into this first-up run and I felt to go to the six furlongs we probably would have been better having a second one under our belt,” Warren said.

“Her trial was over 900 metres, so she has done enough to go to the 1100 metres.

“The Flemington 1200 metres can be pretty testing and at that level (the Aurie’s Star) and with a long prep ahead of us, we’re better off taking the softer option.”

Benedetta won the Inglis Sprint (1200m) at Flemington in March before finishing third behind What You Need in the Listed Sunlight Classic (1100m) three weeks later.

Warren has his sights set on a spring campaign but believes the daughter of Hellbent will be an even better proposition in the autumn.

“She did really well during her break, and she’s furnished into a really nice mare now,” Warren said.

“I think she’ll be better again in the autumn, but right now, she looks terrific and is ready to go.”

Warren has tentatively worked out a program towards the Manikato Stakes with the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on September 2 the next likely outing.

“We’ve got an eye on the Manikato and I guess we work back from there,” Warren said.

“The Cockram Stakes is probably a nice race for her second-up, but the races will identify themselves as we move forward.”

Tatum Bull will ride the mare on Saturday with her 3kg claim reducing Benedetta’s weight to 57kg.

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