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Impressive Canterbury winner on debut this Wednesday Mr Darcy is already being spruiked by connections as a possible 2015 Victoria Derby horse this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The Chris Waller-trained Sydney-based Authorized colt stepped out for the first time debuting as a two-year-old in the $40,000 Cellarbrations Plate (1100m) against a field of fellow juveniles at the midweek meeting.
Ridden by Glyn Schofield the youngster appreciated the inside alley and the nice run from the gate to beat home the John Sargent-trained Water Diviner by a long neck with Godolphin’s Heroism a further length back for third in the set weights clash.
It was exactly what the team was hoping to see from Mr Darcy on debut who is already starting to live up to the potential his owner, the late Mr Brian Agnew believed he had.
“The owner, the late Mr Brian Agnew, was confident this could be his Derby style horse,” Waller’s racing manager Liam Prior said post-win on Wednesday; the horse still raced by Agnew’s estate after his passing in February.
“He’s got a long way to go to get there but it was certainly an impressive victory today.”
The richest race for three-year-olds held at Flemington Racecourse each Melbourne Cup Carnival, this year’s $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) takes place on October 31.
Holding back on the first-up run for Mr Darcy proved a successful move with wet tracks postponing the up-and-comer’s debut after he was scratched from two previous races within a week.
“We scratched from Kembla on a heavy (10) track; we didn’t think it would be ideal running him on debut in such poor conditions but at the end of the day the tracks aren’t really going to get any better,” Prior said after Mr Darcy saluted on a Heavy (8).
“He was put in as a late entry on Saturday to keep our options open but today’s race panned out nicely.”
Winning hoop Schofield was impressed earlier in the week with Mr Darcy’s trial and would have been happy again with the gutsy late effort of the horse who travelled sweetly throughout in the box seat before taking care of the leader in the last 50 metres.
“Glyn Schofield trialled him the other day and gave him a pretty glowing report so credit to him, he was well ridden today,” Prior said.
Prior was also pleased with the way the possible Derby hope handled the short 1100m with improvement likely to come as he’s stepped out further in distance tracking towards a more major spring assignment.
“He’s a horse we had identified at home as having quite a bit of class,” he said.
“The only query today was the fact that he was probably over a distance short of what we think he’ll get over.”
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