Like any fine wine, Benno’s Boy only gets better with age.
The eight-year-old proved this again on Saturday when notching up his 17th career win at Gundagai-Adelong Race Club; emerging victorious in the 1000m Benchmark 50 Handicap.
The old-stager did it the tough way too, carrying 59kg and coursing three and four wide for the duration off the race after apprentice hoop, Georgina McDonnell chose to go forward from gate 11.
In a typically tough performance, the Trevor Sutherland trained gelding kicked on in the home straight, holding off the fast-finishing Woollahara Lass and Storm Force.
Surtherland could only find praise for his 163-start veteran after the win, touching on the longevity of his race career and his love for racing.
“He loves racing and he just loves being at home. He has a little pick on his lawn, he does what he does and he just loves the atmosphere around the stables” Sutherland said.
“You couldn’t ask for a better race horse.”
The popular Southern District galloper has certainly been around the traps and Sutherland insisted that he had developed somewhat of a cult following during his almost-fabled racing career.
“He has a huge following. You go to the pubs and mention Benno’s Boy and everyone will tell you they back him all the time and that he has got them out of trouble more than once,” Sutherland laughed.
“He is always going around at good odds, which I just don’t know why, but punters love him as a result.”
It is easy to understand why the Dane Shadow gelding is a popular commodity for punters, having finished in the money some 68 times, earning connections just shy of $250,000 in prizemoney in the process.
Sutherland even suggested Benno’s Boy could break the 200-start threshold before retiring, comparing him and fellow stablemate, Gentleman Max to some popular National Rugby League players.“
He has had 160 starts, he is as sound as a bell and there is no reason why he hasn’t got another 40 or 50 (starts) in him; touch wood,” Sutherland said.
“I said to my daughter the other night, Benno (Benno’s Boy) and (Gentleman) Max are probably like Josh and Brett Morris; they are two of the most reliable players you would get in rugby league and it’s the same with these two and their racing, you know what you are 100% going to get from them every time and they always deliver.”