Otaki conditioners Johno Benner and Hollie Wynyard are pleased with Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) contender Wyndspelle ahead of Saturday’s race.
The six-year-old entire heads fresh-up into Saturday’s feature race at Hastings off the back of two trial wins and Benner believes TAB bookmakers have underestimated his charge, installing him as an $18 winning chance. “He is a far better horse this year,” he said. “It’s hard to quantify in lengths, but we have managed to change a couple of things around with him and in my opinion he is ridiculously over the odds. “There’s no doubt that he is a smart stallion and is a realistic winning chance.”
Wyndspelle is being targeted at the first two legs of the Bostock New Zealand Spring Racing Carnival and Benner believes he has the son of Iffraaj spot-on for his first-up assignment. “Drawn (barrier) two is an absolute peach,” Benner said. “He is getting away a lot cleaner now. There’s no reason why he couldn’t be fifth or sixth (in the running) and look to track what looks to be a pretty hot speed on paper. “He will go a bottler fresh over 1400m and the second one (Group 1 Windsor Park Plate, 1600m) is another nice target race.”
Wyndspelle will endeavor to shake off his Group 1 bridesmaid tag on Saturday and Benner said it is vital they get the elusive win at elite level for his future career at stud. “With a stallion, every time you go to the races you are trying to win,” he said. “You can’t be going into these races half-cooked and just use it as a run. “He is a six-year-old entire and is five-times Group 1 placed, so it’s important now that we get that Group 1 this year.”
Wyndspelle will get plenty of opportunities to attain that Group 1 victory this spring, with Benner and Wynyard eyeing races on both sides of the Tasman with their charge. “For a start we will go to the first two at Hastings and then we will play it by ear,” Benner said. “I definitely think 1600m is his pet trip and there are a lot of options on both sides of the Tasman. “Ultimately, trying to win that Group 1 in New Zealand is paramount and we definitely think he is capable of doing so.”
Prior to Saturday’s assignment, the Otaki-based trainers will take a team of two to Waverley on Thursday and they believe both Crowning Star and Shakespeare are winning chances.
Debutant Crowning Star will line-up in the Ultra Scan 1100 and Benner has taken a lot of confidence from her recent trial win over 850m at Foxton. “She’s a lovely, big filly and has shown some serious ability,” he said. “Her trial was really good and she is working really well. “My only concern would be 1100m might prove to be too short, but we are going in there pretty hopeful.”
Poet’s voice gelding Shakespeare will round off the day for Benner and Wynyard in the Moore Stephens Markhams 1650 and they believe he can break his maiden at the sixth time of asking. “He is going really well,” Benner said. “He is a beautiful individual, but has been a hard horse to place. “I had to run him against older horses as a two-year-old a couple of times just to try and get him up to a trip that he could be competitive in. “He has only just turned three and he is running over a mile. He will lap up the 1650m and he’ll run a big race.”