Emirates Stakes 2016 a target for Clearly Innocent

Greg Bennett has been responsible for educating some of Australia’s best racehorses and has watched them go on to greatness for other trainers.

Now he has one in his Scone stable which could be about to lift him to the highest level.

Clearly Innocent has already won more than half a million dollars from his seven wins from nine starts.

More than $400,000 has been earned from his wins in the Country Championship Final and Listed Luskin Star Stakes and Bennett is looking to step him up to Group One level this spring with two Group One races on the radar.

“He is still up in Queensland where he has been spelling in the warmer weather,” Bennett said.

“We are in the process of working out a program for him over the next couple of weeks,” Bennett said.

“The Epsom Handicap is a goal as is the Emirates Stakes.

“We have to work out whether we stay in Sydney or go to Melbourne or both.

Bennett is renowned for his expertise with young horses with three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva among the horses to pass through his hands.

Typhoon Tracy, All Silent and Ha Ha are some of the others to benefit from his pre-training.

Clearly Innocent doesn’t rank up there yet but Bennett believes he is the type of horse that can make the grade.

The Epsom and The Emirates are both over 1600 metres, a distance Clearly Innocent has yet to tackle.

“So far 1400 metres is as far as he’s raced but I think he can get up to 1600,” Bennett said.

“He is a versatile horse and I think that will help him get a strong mile.”

Clearly Innocent’s Country Championship showed his toughness with Bennett battling to relieve a hoof problem up until race day.

The four-year-old raced in bar shoes which help take pressure off the hoof but are not widely embraced by punters.

They didn’t bother Clearly Innocent who dominated his rivals then went on to beat Music Magnate and Cradle Me in the Luskin Star at Scone.

While Bennett stuck to his plan to spell Clearly Innocent, Music Magnate went to Queensland to win the Group One BTC Cup while Cradle Me won the Group Two Dane Ripper Stakes.

Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au

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