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Vespa Ready To Fulfil Potential
Otaki trainer Johno Benner believes his stable star Vespa (Elusive City-Miss Avalon, by Fantastic Light) is now the finished article, reports NZ Racing Desk. No longer is Vespa a work in progress with the four-year-old confidently forecast to be at the peak of his powers this spring. "He's fully furnished, he's grown a bit and he's strengthened even more," Benner said. "He looks like the complete racehorse now." Not that Vespa has ever been a disappointment through his development stages as he was a champion two-year-old following wins in the Gr1 Diamond Stakes and the Listed Karaka Million. Last season he claimed the Gr2 Wellington Guineas and the Listed Flying Handicap before he went under by the barest of margins to Pondarosa Miss in the Gr1 Easter Handicap at his last appearance. Vespa is making all the right moves for Benner ahead of his first-up run in the Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings on August 29 for which he is currently the early $6 second favourite behind Kawi and Volkstok'n'barrell, who are at $5. "He's had an exhibition gallop between races here at Otaki and he'll trial on the 11th at Foxton and then he'll be ready first-up for the Makfi," Benner said. Vespa also holds Gr1 nominations for the last two legs of the Triple Crown series at Hastings, the Windsor Park Plate and the Livamol Classic, but Benner is making no firm plans. "We'll get the Makfi out of the way first," he said. "There's a few options, including Melbourne."