A change of rider brought about a change of luck for Benji’s Rule in the $55,000 Class 4 Stakes over 1200m on the Polytrack on Sunday.
Ridden by Jose Verenzuela, Benji’s Rule charged home to record a one-and-a-quarter length victory over Thisisit (Alan Munro) with American Vision (Ivaldo Santana) a nose away third.
Benji’s Rule was having his first start since April and trainer Stephen Gray was dismayed that the gelding had been winless in Singapore prior to this time.
Jockey Jose Verenzuela guides Benji's Rule to a soft win on Sunday.
“He just wouldn’t jump from the barriers,” said Gray. “And he was a little slow to jump again today.
“He’s been a bit of a nightmare with his antics and we’ve worked hard on him.
“I went for that American (Verenzuela) jockey as he’s good at getting them out of the gates and I think he’s also a very good rider on the Polytrack.
“I just said to him to him to take his time with him a not to get to them too soon.
“I had asked (Stephen) Baster if he wanted to ride him after winning a trial on him last week but he knocked back the ride.
“He had trialled just fairly about three weeks back and then Stephen really chased him hard in the trial which he won.
“I also took the blinkers off him and told Jose just to let him be where he was happy.
“The less pressure for him the better.”
Benji’s Rule settled back in the second half of the field behind a hot speed that was set by Hilton (Opie Bosson) and Powerpac (Baster).
Turning for home those two gallopers were quickly headed by the second and third placegetters but it was noticeable at the 200m that Benji’s Rule was the one they would have to hold off.
However at this point Benji’s Rule wanted to duck in behind the leaders before Verenzuela was able to get him to the outside again.
“He’s got a few tricks,” said Verenzuela. “But he can also gallop as he showed with his finish today.
“He mighty now go on and win a few more.”
After winning one of his four starts in New Zealand, Benji’s Rule had been winless in nine previous starts in Singapore which had netted him two third placings.
A four-year-old by Stravinsky from the Bletchingly mare Something Special, Benji’s Ruler has won around $45,000 in prizemoney for BR Stable