Darci Charmer underlined his untapped potential with a strong last-to-first win in the $100,000 Open Benchmark 83 race over 1200m on Friday night.
A four-time winner in only 10 runs at his first prep in 2014, the Darci Brahma four-year-old began his 2015 campaign in the best possible way when he was set alight by jockey Nooresh Juglall at the top of the straight.
Favourite Dragon Dynasty (Troy See) drew first blood as he swept past Mycaptainoblivious (Matthew Kellady) who had led at a solid clip from the start, before carting off to the rails, but was unable to match the firepower of Darci Charmer ($34) who overpowered him with 50m to go and hold a half-length advantage on the line.
Raise No Doubt (Alan Munro) stuck on well for third another 1 ¾ lengths away. The winning time was a smart 1min 9.39secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.
Winning trainer Michael Clements said Darci Charmer has blossomed into a stronger individual and the fast pace of the race also played into their hands.
“The fast pace suited him, but I think Nooresh also came out of his position at the right time,” said the Zimbabwean-born handler. “Once he got a bit of space, he flew in, but if he had waited any longer, I don’t think he would have got there on time.
“He’s been a consistent horse to us, though he was a very immature light-framed horse when we first got him. We gave him a break between races and he has really strengthened up now.
“He ran a very good time tonight, which shows he is going in the right direction. I will probably step him up to seven furlongs in the same class at his next race.”
Juglall, who was at his first association with Darci Charmer, is now hoping it won’t be the last.
“I told Mr Clements that this was a very nice horse and I would like to stay with him right through,” said the Mauritian jockey who was at his fourth 2015 win.
“He travelled easy at the back and when I saw Barend’s (Vorster) horse (Meteor Mike) was not going anywhere, I took a chance and pushed them out at the top of the straight.
“He changed his legs in the home straight, but he gave a very good kick to the line.”
Darci Charmer has now amassed more than $230,000 in prizemoney for the Charming Stable, which carries the same colours as the Florida Stable, a long-time partner of Clements’ with their most notable horse being Fairy Tale, the 2004 Stewards’ Cup winner.
Clements enjoyed a good day at the office when Bravo Charlie ($38) with Alan Munro up, won the next race, the $65,000 Initiation race over 1400m.