Trainer Bede Murray is hoping top Victorian jockey Luke Nolen proves to be a good judge when it comes to three-year-old Darci Be Good.
Nolen was aboard when the colt won the Fernhill Handicap (1600m) on a heavy track at Randwick in the autumn and told Murray he didn’t believe his charge was simply a wet-tracker.
“Luke Nolen got off and said he thought he’d be better on a good track so I hope he was right,” Murray said.
Darci Be Good will return at Rosehill on Saturday in the Club Liverpool Hcp (1400m) with his five rivals headed by the promising King’s Pact and Strike The Stars.
He isn’t among entries for next month’s Group One Golden Rose but is in the mix for the Caulfield Guineas, although Murray is keen to get over Saturday first.
“We can assess him after Saturday, it’s easy to get a wrap on them before they earn it,” he said.
“We’ll take it a race at a time but hopefully he can measure up to the top grade.”
Darci Be Good is a son of Darci Brahma, a sire Murray has plenty of time for.
“I’ve got a couple of Darci Brahmas and they’ve always indicated they needed time which is why this horse didn’t race much early,” Murray said.
Darci Be Good made his debut in the Breeders Plate last spring, making good ground to finish seventh to undefeated colt Smart Missile.
Murray put him straight in the spelling paddock and again raced him sparingly in the autumn.
He was doing his best work late for second to Follow My Lead when he resumed over 1000m at Kembla Grange in April then stepped up to the 1600m of the Fernhill two weeks later and scored.
“He did a good job,” Murray said.
The Group One-winning trainer, who has put the polish on the likes of outstanding gallopers Universal Prince and Victory Vein, is again looking forward to a fruitful carnival this spring.
He revealed he had high hopes for several of his juveniles last season before bad luck intervened.
“I thought I had some good two-year-olds last year but a virus struck the stable and a lot of them didn’t figure, they didn’t even get to the races at all,” Murray said.
Among those Murray is looking forward to seeing this spring is Heza Playboy who won a midweek race at Warwick Farm in March and is scheduled to resume in the coming weeks.