Brisbane benefit for Benfica

Darley stallions swept through Australia’s 2YO Group 1 events for 2010-11 when Benfica won the T J Smith at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

The T J Smith was worth $500,000 and the Lonhro colt’s victory gave his sire a winning lead in this season’s Australian sires’ premiership.  Outstanding mare Beaded sent Lonhro further ahead later in the day when she was runner-up in the $1 million Stradbroke Hcp.

Darley claimed all five Australian Group 1 events reserved for two year-olds in 2010-11 starting with champion colt Sepoy (Elusive Quality) in the Blue Diamond & Golden Slipper.

Stablemate Helmet (Exceed And Excel) continued their domination in the ATC Sires’ Produce & Champagne Stakes at Randwick.

Benfica (2c Lonhro – Hut by Danehill) had won the LR Hamden Stakes at Doomben in May and he benefited from a rails ride from Kerrin McEvoy in a memorable result for Sheikh Mohammed’s Australian operation.

Benfica is a brother to recent Sandown Lakeside winner Shelters.  Their dam Hut won three races up to 1600m and she was also G2 placed in the AJC Light Fingers Stakes and STC Reisling Slipper Trial and Tea Rose Stakes.

Hut is a half-sister to the dam of G1 Queen of the Turf winner Neroli (Viscount).  She has a yearling filly by Elusive Quality and was covered by Denman last year.

Benfica is bred on the successful Lonhro – Danehill cross which has already produced stakes winners Deer Valley, Pinwheel and Black Minx.

Lonhro will stand the forthcoming season for $77,000 (inc gst) at Darley Kelvinside.