He’s a half-brother to a four-time Group I winner of $2.2 million in prizemoney, so it’s no surprise to see Benleigh (3g Choisir x Graceful Lily, by Dr Grace) cast off maiden status at Mornington on Friday.
Benleigh scored a tenacious short head victory in the 1200 metre maiden after being headed in the straight before fighting back to win at his second start.
Prepared by Peter Moody, Benleigh is a homebred for Keith and Ruth Leonard, who also bred and enjoyed much success with his older sibling Danleigh, who has been a tremendous campaigner, winning the Group II QTC Sires Produce Stakes at two before training on to Group I wins in the STC George Ryder Stakes, ATC Chipping Norton Stakes, AJC All Aged Stakes and MVRC Manikato Stakes.
Benleigh is the third winner for Graceful Lily, whose current yearling, a filly by Henrythenavigator will be offered by Golden Grove as Lot 417 at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale next Tuesday.
Graceful Lily had a colt foal by Henrythenavigator last year and is now in foal to Choisir.