Land Of Plenty ready to put horror show behind him

Ben Dorries - Friday October 6

Grahame Begg feels Land Of Plenty has come through his horror Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes run in decent shape and is ready to rumble on the quick back-up in Saturday's Group II Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.

It was a horror show for backers of Land Of Plenty in the Group I Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes

It was an awful watch for Land Of Plenty backers last Sunday as the Stratum gelding, ridden by Linda Meech, endured a torrid run.

The four-year-old sat four-wide back in the field in a strongly run race and things only got worse from there as he made an early move and was pushed off the Caulfield track on the home turn by Mr Sneaky and Scales Of Justice.

Begg thinks it was an incredible effort for him to finish just three lengths from the winner, Santa Ana Lane, when he had every excuse to hoist the white flag and run a long last.

"We've been sent some statistics and they show that Land Of Plenty actually ran eight metres further than the winner in the Rupert Clarke," Begg said.

"There hasn't been much history of Rupert Clarke runners backing up into the Gilgai but I'm happy to do it with this guy.

"He is back to his fighting weight and it is certainly not like I have had to do much fitness work with him after the run he had last Sunday.

"I was keen to run in this as he doesn't like running at Caulfield and there is racing at Caulfield the next three weeks."

Land Of Plenty is $11 in the Gilgai Stakes and some punters may question whether he would be suited dropping back from 1400m to 1200m.

Begg says it is a fair question but he reckons Land Of Plenty will be well suited as he thinks you need a strong 1400m horse to win down the straight six at Flemington (1200m).

"I do think you generally need a 1400m horse to win this race and Land Of Plenty is exactly that," Begg said.

"He definitely appreciates straight racing because these days most straight races aren't run that quickly, so he is able to go back and slowly build up his momentum.

"He was only three lengths off Redkirk Warrior in the Bobbie Lewis so surely that to be pretty decent form.

"He has drawn barrier one, which sometimes hasn't been that favourable in straight racing, but it is only a small field which will suit him.

"Dwayne Dunn will hold him up and he will be finding the line strongly."

Begg thinks Land Of Plenty is over the odds at $11 on Saturday and he is keen to get him to the Group II Linlithgow Stakes over 1200m at Flemington on November 4.

As for Begg, he says he is thriving in his new life training at Pinecliff on the Mornington Peninsula.

Begg trained 14 Group I winners in his former life in NSW, including the likes of Secret Admirer and All Silent, but took a break from the hectic Sydney scene and has returned rejuvenated in his new Victorian base.

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