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Scott Base ready for Riccarton grand final

6 November 2017, 1:53 p.m.

A sparkling run for second in his final dress rehearsal has promising three-year-old Scott Base primed and ready for a big effort in the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on Saturday.

The Dalghar gelding was seen putting in some telling strides as he chased home fellow 2000 Guineas contender Ever Loyal in the Gr.3 Zacinto Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton last month, a performance that has co-trainer Johnno Benner looking forward to his charge going one better in Saturday’s classic contest.

Scott Base Photo: Race Images

“He has always appealed as a real stayer and that last run was very pleasing as he ran through the line very strongly,” he said.

“It was just what we wanted to see leading into the Guineas and his work since then has been very good.

“Saturday will be his fourth start in this campaign, so he is on the way up and goes into the race at peak condition.”

Despite the long-range forecast indicating some rain is on the way for Christchurch, Benner and partner Hollie Wynyard aren’t worried should a wet track eventuate for the race.

“He goes in all ground although he probably wants it dry,” he said.

“In saying that he won his maiden on a heavy surface so if it does rain he should be able to cope. It might actually slow a few of his rivals down but either way we won’t be worried about what ground we strike on Saturday.”

Whilst Saturday’s contest will be the final race in his current campaign Benner is excited about the three-year-old’s prospects later in the season.

“I think he is a real Derby horse, so he will go to the paddock after Saturday for a breather before we look at the options available to get him to Ellerslie,” he said.

“A race like the Karaka Mile is a nice option so we will look at that and then see where we go from there.”

Benner also admitted he will be watching Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup with plenty of interest having prepared one of the race favourites in Humidor during his New Zealand career.

“I’ve always thought he was a true two-miler, so it is a little surprising to hear some of the pundits questioning his staying ability,” he said.

“Darren Weir and his team have done a wonderful job with him and I think he will be right in contention.” – NZ Racing Desk.