Kingsford-Smith Cup: Reformed galloper So Si Bon chases elusive Group 1

He’s the reformed bad boy who is chasing his shot at glory and his first Group 1 on Saturday.

So Si Bon was once notorious for biting his rivals and throwing in the towel when the going got tough, but his co-trainer Ben Hayes says he has emphatically shaken the “non-winner” tag following a gelding operation which has seen him turn into a rock-solid campaigner.

The seven-year-old lines up in the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) on Saturday, with connections having an eye towards the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in a fortnight’s time, but Hayes said he can fire in a wide-open race while fresh.

“We are right back in trip at 1300m but he has sprinted well fresh before and whatever he does on Saturday we think he will improve into the Stradbroke,” he said.

Accused of biting his rivals earlier in his career, Hayes said So Si Bon has turned into a stable favourite of late and his results have backed it up on the track too.

William Pike rides So Si Bon to victory at Caulfield. Picture: Vince Caligiuri/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“It is funny, he is the most straightforward horse to train,” he said.

“Since he has been gelded, his attitude has changed and he has a lovely temperament … he is one of Lindsay Park’s favourites because everyone loves him and his unique look.

“Since he has been gelded, his record is exceptional. Out of his last six runs, he has won three races so he has gotten rid of the non-winner tag that he had for a while.

“He lost his way as a colt, he got naughty and a bit sour. The gelding took the testosterone out of him and he learned to relax. He really enjoys being in work, he responds to it and thrives off it.”

Stabled with Rob Heathcote at Eagle Farm, So Si Bon has settled into Brisbane well and Hayes said the 64-start veteran will stay in Queensland in the lead-up to the Stradbroke.

“We are really happy with him, his win last start was excellent and we have focused on freshening him up for this and he seems to have responded well to it,” he said.

“(Assistant Trainer) Gary Fennessy is looking after him and the reports are he has travelled down beautifully.”

Originally published asReformed galloper So Si Bon chases elusive Group 1

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