There is a pattern to the David Ferraris-trained Chater Legend that is playing out at the moment and all he needs is a change of barrier to get himself back in the winner’s circle.
The last two occasions when Chater Legend has found himself in Class Three and with barrier one at the Happy Valley 1,650m, he has won, and his performance on Wednesday night behind Winning Faith was a clear signal that all he needs is the draw at the moment.
In Chater Legend’s last six races, he has had barrier nine twice, barrier 12 twice, barrier 10 and barrier 11. That cannot possibly help and it hasn’t, especially for a horse like Chater Legend, who does not have the weapons to be versatile in how he can be ridden.
Had he drawn a low barrier on Wednesday, he would have settled three to four lengths closer and not standing up the front-runners more than seven lengths from the 400m.
That was just too much to do unless something crazy happened at the front end of the race and he had to run the night’s second-fastest final 400m in cutting that back to two lengths on the line.
The gelding will be seven in two weeks’ time but is racing as well as ever – all Chater Legend wants for Christmas is a better barrier draw.
Paradoxically, our other black booker from the night showed that a good draw isn’t everything.
It was no fault of Vincent Ho Chak-yiu but the Caspar Fownes-trained The Judge raced three-wide into the breeze for the entirety of the seventh race on Wednesday from gate three.
In the early stages, the two horses drawn below him, Nitro Express and Jade Fortune, showed similar speed to hold him out wide and at every stage of the race, The Judge was unable to get closer.
He looked like dropping out at one stage but came again on the line for sixth to Mister Monte and was giving every impression that he isn’t far off a win and might even be looking for a little further than the 1,650m of this race.