A handful of runs is the strategy for popular three-time Group 1 winner Behemoth as keeping him racing for at least two more seasons is the aim.
“We’ve started thinking long term with the horse now,” Grand Syndications manager Sam Lyons said on SENTrack.
“We’re come up with a plan that means three short preps for the year and two to three runs could see him out each time.
“That means that we could get three or however many more seasons out of him.”
Behemoth hasn’t been seen at the races since finishing sixth in the Group 1 Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September after winning the Group 1 Memsie Stakes over the same course and distance three weeks earlier.
“He’s a big horse and although he has always been sound there are starting be little aches and pains but nothing major at all.
“We want to look after him as best we can and keep him fresh into this 2022 All-Star Mile prep particularly as he ran so well in it last year.
“We want to look after him as he’s really looked after us.”
Behemoth is likely to begin this campaign in the Listed Durbridge Stakes (1100m) at Morphettville on 29 January however the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley run on the same day is also being considered.
“I’d say we’ll still kick him off in the Durbridge just to keep him home for that week,” Lyons said.
“If he runs well then we’ll go through the Futurity once again and hopefully he gets a bit more luck in that this time and then straight to the All-Star Mile.”
While the David Jolly-trained six-year-old gelding is yet to step out publicly for this preparation, the indications are positive.
“He’s come back super,” Lyons added.
“He’s a marvel, really.
“He never puts a foot wrong and you never really have any issues to deal with.
“He’s an old warhorse now and he’s very much on track.”
In the meantime Behemoth still needs the votes to be sure of his place in the $5,000,000 mile feature which this time will be run at Flemington.
“We do have to vote to get him there but he was neck-and-neck with Arcadia Queen at the top last year so hopefully everyone still loves him.”