The Group 3 Spring Stakes was the feature event on the Morphettville card on Saturday afternoon, with Behemoth claiming victory, following a protest being lodged when runners and jockeys returned back to scale.
Having been lipped out on the winning post by the Will Clarken-trained Beau Rossa, it was clear with 100m to go that Beau Rossa shifted out under pressure nullifying Behemoth’s chances to run on over the final 100m.
The margin on the line was officially a nose, but the obvious interference at a crucial stage proved the difference in the mind of the meeting’s Chairman of Steward’s.
Following the late scratching of Doncaster Handicap placegetter Dalasan earlier in the afternoon, it was clear that the feature event of the day was to be a match race by the reigning Memsie Stakes winner Behemoth and Lightning Stakes winner Beau Rossa.
Beau Rossa looked to have the race wrapped up when kicking clear at the top of the straight when putting two lengths on his more highly credentialed rival. However, despite being left flat footed Behemoth picked up in commanding fashion and if he wasn’t interfered with at the 100m mark, it was highly likely he would have pulled away for yet another victory in his glistening career.
Despite losing the Spring Stakes on protest all signs point towards a run in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes for Beau Rossa on August 28 at Caulfield, where he is set to meet his rival Behemoth once more.
Even though he was beaten on the racetrack, Behemoth’s return suggests he has come back in fine form, having not been seen since the Group 1 The Goodwood when finishing seventh, beaten 4.6 lengths.
The David Jolly-trained Behemoth is a multiple Group 1 winner in the past 12 months having taken out the aforementioned Memsie Stakes, before following it up with a win in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at his next start on his way to a run in last year’s The Everest during last year’s spring.
With the Memsie Stakes a fortnight away, Behemoth is currently a +380 market elect with Sportsbet, with Craig Williams expected to take the ride as the pair push to make it three Group 1 wins.