Mr Chard will head to the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Newcastle on September 17 after he recorded a tough win in the 2014 Rowley Mile at Hawkesbury this afternoon.
The injury-plagued galloper was having just his third race start for new trainer Tony McEvoy and he was well-backed in the lead-up to the race after he finished second in both the Programmed Property Services Handicap (1100m) at Morphettville on July 26 and the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on August 9.
Mr Chard was headed in the final 200 metres by both Tougher Than Ever and Bouzy Rougue in the final stages of the Rowley Mile, but the Al Samer entire dug deep to record his first race since he took out the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington in 2010.
McEvoy was delighted to record his second straight victory in the Rowley Mile and he revealed that the seven-year-old would return to Group level for the Cameron Handicap in Newcastle next month.
“He was incredibly brave the horse and I think the feather in that cap goes to Kerrin, it is really such a help when you have these high class riders ride them and he obviously just saved something for that last bit,” McEvoy said.
“I must say I thought the horse was beaten, but he rallied hard and full credit to the horse.
“He has made a big comeback from severe injuries and full credit to the owners for persevering.
“He is a horse of good talent, he is a cracking type of horse and he has Group 1 sort of ability, but that is probably behind him now because of his age.
“I have been lucky enough to be with some good quality horses over the time and this fella fits in that mould.
“I think that I will go to the Cameron at Newcastle, it is a very good race and I think that it will be his next start.”
Kerrin McEvoy was riding Mr Chard for the first time and he paid credit to the training effort of his uncle Tony to get the veteran entire back to winning form for the first time in almost four years.
The leading hoop admitted that he thought Tougher Than Ever had the race won, but he praised Mr Chard for his strength in the final stages of the race and believes that the 2010 Carbine Club Stakes winner is still capable of being competitive at Group level during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“He is obviously a smart horse and only a new resident of Tony’s yard, but he has been going well,” McEvoy said.
“I was confident enough that he was going to run well today and I would like to thank Tony for the winning ride today.
“I thought Timmy Clarke had me on toast at the furlong and thank god for the extended straight here at Hawkesbury now because he needed that last furlong.
“There is a race for him during the Carnival, whether it is in Sydney or Melbourne, and it is good to be on him.”
Melbourne Cup hopeful La Amistad made up plenty of ground in the final stages of the race to finish third and is set to take plenty of benefit out of the strong first-up performance.