Country Charm makes mockery of 90-1 odds
David Hall-trained Country Charm hasn't exactly been the pin-up horse for punters but his ability hasn't been in question, and a change of race pattern brought the best from him as he led throughout in the fifth and surprised his jockey.
Matthew Chadwick got a shock when Hall asked him to lead on the five-year-old from barrier 14, but he really didn't look like losing as soon as he got to front and made a mockery of his 90-1 odds.
"There didn't look a lot of pace in it and I thought leading would overcome the biggest problem we've had with the horse - he's a bit of a chicken heart, but I think it surprised Matthew," Hall said.
"When I asked him to lead, he said he didn't think Country Charm was fast enough.
"I just said do your best and as you saw, he was plenty fast enough.
"There's no doubting his ability to win races, but he's not brave when he gets in amongst horses and cops a bump or two and out in front on his own this time, he was much happier.
"Matthew handled him perfectly, didn't go too quick in front then got going at the right time."
Country Charm's only previous win had also been unexpected, scoring at 15-1 on debut up the straight course when nobody, including his trainer, considered him ready to perform.
"Only decent horses win at their first racetrack appearance, so his ability hasn't been a worry, and,especially in Class Four, I think he'll be winning more races," Hall explained.
"His form overall wasn't helped by puncturing a foot in April, which put an end to his season very early and then he had another issue in August with his left front leg. This was still only his 10th start today.
"He's come off a couple of tough trips on the dirt, when he did run well, and then he was back and wide and getting buffeted on the turf last time. So he has had some excuses."