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Benfica Princess to step up for Doughty

Trainer Kelly Doughty has had one of her better winter carnival chances go amiss but hopes filly Benfica Princess is ready to fill the void.

Benfica Princess will get a major test when she contests the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) on Saturday.

Doughty is using the race to see if Benfica Princess is up to tackling the Group One Queensland Oaks on June 3.

At her most recent start, the finished third in a dead heat at Doomben when things didn’t go to plan.

“She got left in front a long way from home. It meant she was a sitting duck for the rest of the field,” Doughty said.

“Her normal pattern is to get back with cover and then run home. There should be more pace on Saturday and that will suit her.”

Stablemate Arki is out of the carnival with a recurrence of a tendon problem.

The gelding came back from two career-threatening injuries which kept him away from racing for two years.

Arki returned in November and went on to win all five of his race starts in that campaign.

Doughty and her husband Gary, who owns and bred Arki, put him away for a spell with the winter carnival in mind and were taking hum along slowly.

“We could see there was something not quite right so we had him scanned and it showed the fibre in the tendon had frayed,” Gary Doughty said.

“It isn’t a tear but it needs looking after closely. We have been icing it and walking him but we can’t risk him after all the hard work has gone into him.”

Gary Doughty said Arki would remain in the stables for the moment so they could keep an eye on him and get him ready for a possible summer campaign.

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