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Prize money lures Richards to the Valley

Adelaide trainer Gordon Richards has headed to Melbourne in search of a bigger prize money pool for his six-time winner Benz.

The son of Bushranger lines-up in the Dominant Handicap (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday chasing a first prize of $55,000 plus $30,000 in Super VOBIS bonus money.

“We could have run in Adelaide last Saturday against the older horses in a $50,000 race,” Richards said.

“It’s not bad money but in Melbourne it’s twice as much, there’s bonus money and he’s running against three-year-olds.

“But to offset that he’s got a fair bit of weight.”

Benz is no stranger to success at Moonee Valley.

Last September he carried 55kg to win over Saturday’s journey defeating Ken’s Dream, an opponent on Saturday.

Benz rises to 58.5kg following the claim for in-form apprentice Jordan Childs on Saturday but concerning for Richards is the weight he will be conceding to horses on the minimum handicap from a wide draw.

“Drawing 10 isn’t ideal but it hasn’t been a problem for him before, it’s just the weight variance,” Richards said.

“There’s a lot of horses down in the weights and there’s a fair gap to him especially after a couple of them have claimed as well.”

Benz won the Group Three Zeditave Stakes first-up in February before a freshen-up leading into the Adelaide carnival.

Richards was disappointed with Benz’s first-up run back in Adelaide before explaining he struck trouble at his second outing.

He then ran a three-quarter length second to the promising Ashlor at his latest outing on May 13.

“There was a couple of indifferent runs before his last start which was pretty good considering,” Richards said.

“He was trapped wide early and had to do a bit of work to get across and then fought on really well.

“It was a brave effort.”

Richards said a gallop at Morphettville on Tuesday morning suggests Benz is in for a good showing.

“I don’t have many fears going into the race,” Richards said.

“And importantly he’s travelled well before.”

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