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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
Trainer Jason Warren says Benedetta could not be in any better order ahead of her first-up assignment at Caulfield

If smooth sailing is anything to go by, then Benedetta is set to give Jason Warren victory in the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield.

Warren said Benedetta has had a faultless preparation leading up to the Group 1 sprint over 1100m on Saturday which was topped off by a nice draw of gate five.

Benedetta has been aimed at Saturday’s race first-up since the conclusion of her last campaign when fourth in the Silver Eagle at Randwick last October.

The mare’s campaign began last August with an 1100m win at Flemington before success in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield which was followed by a close-up third in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Stakes at Flemington in mid-September.

“This has been our plan since the end of last prep,” Warren said.

“We spelled her for the required amount of time, and we brought her back in with the amount of time we needed to get her ready for the Oakleigh Plate.

“It’s been faultless. Everything has gone to plan. She was ready to trial when we needed her to.

“She’s had two jump-outs now, and although both have been soft, she’s a clean-winded mare and she’s ready to go.”

Warren took advantage of taking Benedetta to Caulfield on Tuesday for a gallop out of the chute from where the Oakleigh Plate will start.

He said the gallop with race jockey Daniel Stackhouse aboard was the ‘clean out’ required to have her at full fitness.

Warren took Benedetta to Balnarring for a quiet jump-out last week which was held on slightly inferior ground after a massive storm hit Melbourne the previous day.

“She didn’t really extend herself too much at the Balnarring trials last week,” Warren said.

“It wasn’t a really great surface after the bad storms, so we only did a piece of maintenance work at the trials last week.

“On Tuesday at Caulfield, it was good to take her there to give her a good stretch out on a nice surface given we didn’t have that opportunity last week.

“It was really good work and she recovered quick, and Stacky was glowing.

“After Balnarring last week, he hadn’t felt the turbos kick in, but he had a good feel of them the other day.”

Warren said Benedetta, all being well, will run well on Saturday and then head to the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 9.

 
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