“He gave me goosebumps,” said jockey Keagan de Melo after recently gelded Charles stormed to a convincing win in a Pinnacle Stakes at Durbanville on Saturday.
De Melo was deputising for regular rider Corne Orffer, who is suspended, and they did it from a wide draw over 1400m, which appeared too short on paper and was the main reason for Brett Crawford’s runner starting at 10-1, while the favourite Twist Of Fate shortened into odds-on.
Charles had raced wide in the early part, but he improved his position and moved sweetly to challenge in the straight. He asserted his authority, ran on best and won by a length and a half.
“He’s always had the ability, but gelding has transformed him. This distance is at the bottom of his range, and I was really impressed with him today” said Crawford.
“To win, drawn ten out of ten over a trip that was his shortest, was impressive but I have got to build up his confidence.
“He is only rated 111 and so he is far behind the 130-plus stars. There is a mile coming up next month (Cape Mile) and if he wins that we’ll we will take on the old guns in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and the Sun Met.”
Charles was a record R6-million buy at the 2017 Cape Premier Yearling Sale. He races for the partnership of John Magnier, Diane Nagle, Paul Shanahan, Delma Sherrell and Mr B L Rae.