So Si Bon treads another Mile

So Si Bon’s VOBIS Gold Mile record is reason enough for Ben Hayes to be confident ahead of Saturday’s 2023 edition, but that is not where the Lindsay Park team’s optimism ends.

The evergreen gelding heads into the $250,000 event at Sandown off an eighth placing in the All Star Mile.

That $5 million race, won by So Si Bon’s stablemate Mr Brightside, has produced the Doncaster Mile trifecta plus first and third in the Australian Cup, which has Hayes buoyant ahead of what has been the target race in So Si Bon’s preparation.

“I’m very excited about the All-Star Mile form, it’s pretty strong,” Hayes said.

“That day we drew super wide, so we had our hand forced and we had to ride him dead cold and for a bit of luck. He was able to take the shortcut and I thought he finished off really well in a high-quality race where the form’s very strong.

“He’d probably have the strongest form going into the race and we all know if he runs to his best he’ll be very, very hard to pass.”

So Si Bon will be having his fifth start in a VOBIS Gold Mile when he lines up with Jye Mcneil in the saddle.

After a fifth placing in 2018, he missed the 2019 edition but won in both 2020 and 2021 before finishing runner-up last year.

The nine-year-old winner of almost $2.3 million gets into the set-weights-and-penalties event with 59kg, one kilogram less than joint topweights Pinstriped and Chartres, despite being the highest-rated runner in the race.

“It’s a race we obviously target, because he gets in so well at the weights with the rating he is,” Hayes said.

“We purposely held him back and gave him a tick-over jumpout into this race. I was very happy with how he jumped out, he seems nice and fresh, spot on and ready to run a good race.”

Hayes and his co-trainer brother JD are also tackling the day’s headline event, the $1 million The Showdown (1200m), with Arizona Activist.

The son of Written Tycoon finished second to The Showdown rival Butch Cassidy at his only start, which prompted the Lindsay Park team to take in The Showdown as a final lead-up to the Listed Anzac Day Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on April 25.

“We’ve drawn a good gate, applied winkers and his work since that race has improved and seems to have really woken him up,” Hayes said.

“We just thought, for $1 million, it’s definitely worth a throw at the stumps.”

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