Fate intervenes for Benfica Princess

Mark Oberhardt
Benfica Princess returns to Eagle Farm after a win in country Queensland at Warwick

Gary Doughty has experienced the high and lows of racing and he is convinced that sometimes fate plays a hand in winning.

As a jockey Doughty rode hundreds of winners including at Group One level before a serious injury forced him out of the saddle 15 years ago.

Since then Doughty and his wife Kelly have had hundreds of winners from their Gold Coast training base.

One of their most consistent horses has been Benfica Princess who won her eighth race at Warwick three weeks ago.

The mare was lucky to make it to Warwick, located on the southern downs about 120km west from Doughty's Gold Coast stables.

"It was Magic Millions day and as she was not eligible for any races that day we thought a 1400 metre TAB race at Warwick with good prize money would suit her," Doughty said.

"I had never been to Warwick and we left earlier than normal. As things turned out we were driving up the highway when an oil tanker overturned on the other side.

"Our side of the highway was still open but they closed it basically as soon as we got through. So it was probably fate that got us that win. Five minutes later we wouldn't have been able to pass."

The accident also affected runners travelling to the Gold Coast.

Doughty is hoping for no such dramas when Benfica Princess runs in the Queensland Jockey Club Benchmark 85 (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

"It's a handy field on Saturday and she has won three times at Eagle Farm. We just need some pace in the race," he said.