Charming City keeps Hayes camp in the money
BRILLIANT youngster Charming City kept the David Hayes bandwagon rolling with an awesome demolition job of his rivals in yesterday's finale.
The Hayes camp pulled off one of the biggest plunges of the season at Happy Valley on Wednesday night when another of the young guns, Superior Dollar, got the nod in the tightest of photo-finishes to score.
He had his quote halved in the final minutes of betting to start at 7-1.
There were no such luxury odds on offer with Charming City but the stable faithful steamed in just the same as he firmed from an opening quote of 3.7-1 to jump a clear 2.3-1 favourite for the Classes One and Two 1,400-metre affair.
And the ease of his win was not lost on the champion South Australian handler.
'That was a lot simpler than we'd imagined it would be and he's really turned in to a nice individual,' Hayes said.
'There's more improvement in him, for sure, but we'll just take it one step at a time from here.
'I left it entirely up to Basil [Marcus] to decide what to do and he's done a really good job from that bad gate.
'Going forward turned out to be the best possible plan but it's good to have the choice of what to do and he's an exciting young horse,' he added.
Charming City bounced smartly from the extreme outside barrier and Marcus had no hesitation in taking it up as they passed the marker pole.
But it looked like the plan could come horribly undone when the Andy Leung-trained pair of Toymark and Decouvert served it up to the Chief's Crown gelding down the back.
Charming City was not intimidated, however, and soon after turning for home, Marcus reined him up and he responded by putting at least three lengths on the field.
He stretched right out to the line and although Brilliant Way (17-1) tried hard to bridge the gap, the quinella spot was always the best he could hope for.
Elsewhere, Robbie Fradd's red-hot run continued apace with yet another double, this time for long-serving Australian mentor John Moore.
The enigmatic Canadian Champ (10-1) opened his account by scoring his second straight win under the prolific South African and the improving Real Good (7.2-1) made his first attempt at the dirt a winning one when grinding out a deserved win in the final all-weather contest.
Fradd (28 winners) is now an astonishing seven clear of his compatriot and nearest rival Douglas Whyte, and the chasing pack will have to get a move on if they are to stop this jockeys' race developing into a two-man battle.