Clive Cox has all but ruled Benefit out a run at Newmarket’s July meeting, because of concerns she may not handle the undulating track.
In receipt of weight from her five opponents, the Cheveley Park-owned filly stayed on well under John Fahy to land the Listed six-furlong Cathedral Stakes at Salisbury on her previous run.
A daughter of Acclamation, Benefit brought up Cox’s 50th winner of the season with a length victory over Nahaarr and has now won three of her six starts for the Lambourn yard.
Cox is in no rush to make plans. He said: “She has come back well and we’re very happy with her. It was a great step to take and I don’t have a precise target. I’m delighted with how she is.
“She is a big, scopey filly to look forward to. We thought she might get seven (furlongs) earlier in the year, which is why we ran her in the Fred Darling, but she has confirmed her class at Listed level and I hope she can move forwards again. She has always been a very promising individual to deal with.”
Benefit opened her juvenile campaign with two wins at Wolverhampton and Leicester, before finishing 11th of 13 in the Bosra Sham Fillies’ Stakes on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile last October.
On the back of that effort, Cox says any thoughts of a run at the July Cup meeting have been all but scotched.
“I don’t think Newmarket is a possibility because, after winning twice last year, she ran in the Listed race there and bombed out, as she didn’t come down the hill well at all,” he added.
“I know the July Course is not as bad as the Rowley Mile, but I still have a concern for her not to go there.
“I don’t think we would be playing to her strengths. We have an open mind, but I’m very happy with the way she has come back. We may know more in a week or so.”
Cox may have endured a winless Royal meeting yet there were some promising performances, including from Katey Kontent.
A daughter of Havana Grey, she found trouble in running at a crucial stage and finished sixth to the smart Dramatised in the Queen Mary, losing her unbeaten record in the process.
Cox said: “I think Karl Burke’s filly is very special. We got a little bit sucked in by the pace from the American horse (Love Reigns, who finished fourth).
“She’ll be back and she is only a baby. Those previous two runs were massive, especially the Windsor run and the time she clocked that day.
“I’m very happy, but basically the Ascot horses have had a quiet week this week and we will just rebuild from here.
“Going forward, we’ll give them a chance. But she is fine and all the horses came back very well. We’re delighted.
“Katey Kontent is only a baby and I’ve got total confidence in her.”