Jockey Matthew Bennett after claiming the 2011 Westlawn Grafton Cup Prelude on Desert Bunny. Bennett is confident of being in the winners stall again after race six this afternoon.
Jockey Matthew Bennett after claiming the 2011 Westlawn Grafton Cup Prelude on Desert Bunny. Bennett is confident of being in the winners stall again after race six this afternoon.

Silencio primed to launch raid

JOCKEY Matthew Bennett is champing at the bit to partner ex-Darley trained mare Silencio when she makes her return to racing at Grafton today.

The four-year-old daughter of Anabaa created a huge impression, brilliantly winning her first two starts in January and February before finishing fourth to Let's Misbehave at a Canterbury night meeting on March 18.

Silencio, trained by Brett Dodson, tackles the Tooheys Old Benchmark 60 Hcp (1000m).

“She's ready to fly, I can't wait to get back on her,” said 34-year-old Bennett, who has ridden more than 700 winners.

“Horses like her are what makes the wasting and hard work all worthwhile.

“She's come back bigger and stronger, a much more settled racehorse.”

Silencio is raced by Sydney-based Steve Nolan and Peter McPherson, who have raced several horses with Dodson, including Durga Princess.

“When she first came up from Sydney, she was real wiry and her heart was always going 100 miles an hour,” Bennett said.

“She's much more settled now, even in the barriers, which was a bit of a problem last time.”

Silencio has been back in work around 12 weeks, Coffs Harbour-based Dodson said.

“Yes, she's certainly more relaxed this time in,” Dodson said.

“I've been very happy with her, the only query was she wasn't working quiet as sharply as previously.

“That was the reason we took her to Grafton to trial, just to make sure everything was right and confirm what was in the back of my mind.

“She's switching off, not as highly strung but her galloping ability is still there.”

Dodson's fears were more than allayed when Silencio showed her customary blistering early pace, bolting in by 2.3 lengths in the 1000m trial, recording a time of 59.2sec.

“She did it on her ear. I didn't move on her,” Bennett said. “They used to have to blindfold her to get her into the barriers. In the trial she got a shove by the attendants but stood there quiet as a lamb.”

Silencio has drawn perfectly in barrier one and will carry 56kg.

“It does look a nice race for her to kick off in,” Dodson said.

“She will only improve on what she does too.

“If she comes through as expected, we'll look to go to Sydney next start.”



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