Kembla Grange trainer Bede Murray is looking towards the spring, specifically the Victoria Derby, after his lightly-raced colt Darci Be Good claimed a tidy win at Randwick on Saturday.
Two-year-old Darci Be Good broke their maiden status in the $100,000 Listed Fernhill Handicap (1600m), in-form hoop Luke Nolen overcoming a wide barrier 10 draw to ride the son of Darci Brahma to their first win from three starts.
Darci Be Good ($7) was able to beat home the David Payne-trained Cocky Raider ($4.20) by one and a quarter lengths while the winner’s stablemate Continental Flyer (413) was a further length away for third.
In a disappointing result for Gai Waterhouse, her runner and $4 favourite of the Fernhill Handicap field Satirical Boy finished 10th beating home just one other runner to cross over 12 lengths away from the winner.
Murray now plans to begin preparations for Darci Be Good to tackle the richest three-year-olds race of next season, the $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on October 29.
While many of the season’s top two-year-olds will be lining up in this Saturday’s Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick, Darci Be Good will be sent for a spell before being brought back in the spring.
“I think he could be a Derby colt, I really do,” Murray said.
“He’s a lovely horse and has a lovely temperament.”
And Murray should know a Derby horse when he sees one having prepared three Derby winners throughout his career.
Murray trained 2001 AJC Australian Derby winner Universal Prince, 2003 Queensland Derby champion Half Hennessy and Coniston Bluebird who won the 2009 New Zealand Derby.
Nolen, who also ride’s Peter Moody’s star mare Black Caviar, was also full of praise for Darci Be Good on Saturday.
“I think Bede’s intention is to give him a bit of time and I think he will become a nice three-year-old in the spring and into next autumn I think he will continue to improve,” Nolen said.