By Glenn Davis
Trainer Natalie McCall is hopeful perennial placegetter Miss Beneteau can finally break back into the winner’s list at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.
McCall has opted for a change of rider with the booking of Brad Pengelly in the Class Two Handicap (1200m) in the mare’s bid for only her third win in 29 starts.
Her last win was at Gatton in May last year.
The five-year-old daughter of Beneteau has been runner-up at all her five starts this campaign, including her last appearance in a similar Class Two Handicap at the Sunshine Coast on December 23.
“She’s been very consistent and the form around her has been very good with a few going on to win in town,” McCall said.
“She needs to be saved for one short sharp sprint and that’s one of the reasons we decided to book Brad (Pengelly).
“She’s been unlucky in a few of her races this this time in but mostly she’s just been beaten by a better horse on the day.”
McCall had hoped Miss Beneteau could win a midweek metropolitan race at Doomben but her temperament forced a change of plans.
“I was hoping to send her to Doomben for a midweek race about six weeks but she played up and hurt herself getting on to the float,” she said.
“She’s fine now and on her recent form she should race well again.”
McCall has a team of 14 horses in work at the Sunshine Coast and is best known for winning the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap with River Lad.
Apart from River Lad, McCall has trained several Black-Type winners including Colour Charge and Lady Echelon.
Her stable was recently boosted by the arrival of former Godolphin sprinter Spectroscope.
Formerly trained by James Cummings, Spectroscope had his first start for McCall finishing seventh, just over one length behind Balboa Rocks in the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup on Australia Day.
Spectroscope, a $230,000 purchase for client Tosh Murphy, is preparing for the Brisbane winter carnival which could include a first-up attempt at the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in June.
“The owner is keen to run him fresh in the Stradbroke so he might go first-up into it,” McCall said.
“Then he’ll be aimed for other races like the Glasshouse Handicap.”
Racing Queensland webnews February 17