Trainer Robbie Laing will send Direct Charge to the paddock and prepare him for the 2013 Inglis Classic at Rosehill next January after winning the Group 3 $150,000 The Hong Kong Jockey Club Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington today.
With the experience of having a run down the Flemington straight at his first race start three runs back, Direct Charge was able to turn around his unlucky fourth at Moonee Valley last start to fight back to beat last start winner Crack A Roadie and the heavily backed Shamus Award.
Laing purchased the Charge Forward colt at the Sydney Classic Yearling Sales in January and will aim Direct Charge to the Inglis bonus race series which includes the $250,000 2013 Inglis Classic (1200m) at Rosehill in January 19.
“At Moonee Valley he was chased forward off his legs early and had no luck, couldn’t get in, not Stevie’s fault, three deep the entire trip, crowded in the straight, beaten two lengths, run fourth,” Laing said.
“I thought it is was a mighty run and said to the boys he’ll win today. He’s done a great job.”
“I bought him from the January Sale, the Classic sale in Sydney and that’s been our target the whole time we bought him. He was the second top priced colt, I thought he was the top colt of the sale. He’ll have a run in Sydney late December, early January and then go to the Classic at Rosehill.”
Laing said that Direct Charge is still a little bit immature and will develop into a nice race horse.
“He’s a big rangy fella, sixteen one, not a lot of body about him yet but he has a massive stride on the horse. The idea was to let him roll along up near the lead and at any stage if he was travelling well enough to go forward because he doesn’t have an electric finish at the moment. He didn’t have an electric finish today but hung on.”
Jockey Steven Arnold carried out the race instructions to the letter and after beginning well and racing in the leading bunch, Arnold let Direct Charge ($18) stride to the front down the middle of the track and fought back after being headed by Crack A Roadie ($4.20 fav) to score by head with Shamus Award ($7.50) a length away in third spot.
“He‘s nice and fit, put him up on the speed and he kept finding well,” said Arnold who has had a successful Melbourne Cup Carnival winning at his last three rides.