Benaud Breaks Through in Wyong Gold Cup

4 September 2023

Benaud pictured as a yearling for Karaka 2020.

Despite placing at Group One level and banking more than A$600,000 in stakes, a win at black-type level was the one thing that eluded high-quality Karaka graduate Benaud (Reliable Man) – until Friday’s A$240,000 Listed Carlton Wyong Gold Cup (2100m).

The Wyong feature was the third win of a 22-start career for the John O’Shea-trained Benaud, who has now amassed A$726,230 in prize-money and was runner-up in last year’s Group One Australian Derby (2400m). He was a $280,000 purchase from Valachi Downs in Book 1 of Karaka 2020.

A six-length winner over the same course and 2100-metre distance in July, Benaud returned to Wyong on Friday and finally broke through at stakes level. Kept out of trouble by jockey Dylan Gibbons in a race that was marred by a three-horse fall, Benaud rounded the home turn in fourth spot and finished over the top of Bois D’Argent (Toronado) to score by half a length.

“He is going good,” O’Shea said. “We’d given him one trial and a nice, strong piece of work on Tuesday morning. He was well weighted, he’s had a win at the track before, and it was a nice race for him to get back in the game.”

Benaud became the third stakes winner for extraordinary broodmare Baggy Green (Galileo), who is also the dam of four-time Group One winner Tofane (NZ) (Ocean Park) and Group One winner No Compromise (NZ) (Pins).

Baggy Green was herself offered as part of the Valachi Downs Unreserved Broodmare & Stallion Share Dispersal on New Zealand Bloodstock’s online subsidiary Gavelhouse Plus last year, where she was bought by Yulong for $1.75m.

Vendor Valachi Downs
Purchaser John O’Shea Racing/Laurel Oak Bloodstock (New South Wales)
Breeding Reliable Man – Baggy Green
Sale Lot 450, Karaka 2020 Book 1, $280,000
Bred by Mr KJ Hickman


Photo: Bradley Photos