The combination of jumping and wearing blinkers for the first time has enabled Charlevoix to record a strong win at Flemington.
Senior Lindsay Park trainer David Hayes said the stable had delayed adding blinkers to Charlevoix’s race-day gear until he had raced over a staying trip this campaign.
After racing over 2500m at Flemington two weeks ago, Hayes said the time was right to put the blinkers on Charlevoix for Saturday’s North East Region Handicap.
Ridden by Craig Williams, Charlevoix ($5) ran out a 1-1/2 length winner from Hursley ($6.50), with the Lindsay Park-trained Bullish Stock ($9.50) three-quarters of a length away in third.
Hayes explained he wanted to get a run into Charlevoix at a distance before adding blinkers, worried the gelding may over-race in the gear.
“Blinkers are an aid but can be really destructive on a stayer,” Hayes said.
“I don’t like putting them on the stayers until they get out to the distance a few times.”
Charlevoix was having his fifth start for Lindsay Park after previously being prepared by Mick Kent at Cranbourne.
Hayes thought the gelding would be a Group Three stayer when he first arrived and will be set for the Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington in October.
Victory in the Bart Cummings gains the winner automatic entry into this year’s Melbourne Cup.
Almandin won both races in 2016.
Hayes said Charlevoix and Bullish Stock would return to Flemington in two weeks time for the Banjo Paterson Series Final.