Behemoth has become the first horse since Sunline to record back-to-back victories in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield.
The South Australian galloper scored under Craig Williams in last year’s 1400m contest at weight-for-age while Brett Prebble picked up the mount this year.
Prebble got the nod when Jamie Kah was suspended by Racing Victoria stewards for a COVID breach after Williams had earlier knocked back the ride to partner Toffane.
Out on his legs late in the race, Behemoth ($3.20) held-off fellow South Australian Beau Rossa ($12) by a head with the $3 favourite Toffane a half-length away third.
The honour roll of the Memsie is littered with some of the stars of the Australian turf including Phar Lap, Rising Fast, Galilee, Manikato, Makybe Diva and So You Think.
Trainer David Jolly is in awe of Behemoth joining such big names.
“As a kid you’re in awe of those sort of horses,” Jolly said.
“He’s like a proper old-fashioned weight-for-age horse and it is beyond my wildest dreams.”
Jolly said he would need to talk to Sam Lyons of Grand Syndications as to whether Behemoth could return to Caulfield for a second attempt at the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1100m) on September 18.
Behemoth won the race last year with 60kg but is likely to receive more weight this time around.
“I’ll discuss with Sam and we’ll see what weight he gets, but he will probably go there,” Jolly said.
“I did say to Brett before the race that I don’t think he was at full fitness yet for the 1400 (metres). He’s probably got a bit to go and maybe that might have told on him late.
“We trained him a little bit that way because we’re only early in the spring, a bit like last time when I feel like his third run was his best, and that’s going to happen (at his) third or fourth run this time.”
Prebble is starting to reap the benefits of the hard work of recent months and now shares the lead in the Melbourne Jockeys’ premiership following Saturday’s win.
The former leading jockey initially struggled on his return from Hong Kong and was happy to get the call up to ride Behemoth.
“That’s racing and there’s highs and lows and I’ve had them all,” Prebble said of being Kah’s replacement.
“To be here today is pretty special.
“It is easy to be a champion once, it is hard to be one multiple times and this is what we all strive for.
“I’ve done the hard yards and I have worked for it, and it hasn’t come out of turn.”