The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace had hoped to have chalked up their first city win prior to imported galloper Turn On The Charm stepping out at Flemington.
After Blue Cup and Through Irish Eyes had run agonisingly close second placings earlier on Saturday’s program, Turn On The Charm got the team on the board in The Skyline Lounge (1410m).
“It was a nice surprise. He’s a horse with ability, but he’s taken a little bit to work out,” Eustace said.
Ridden by Alana Kelly, Turn Of The Charm ($26) scored by a neck from Winning Partner ($11) with Mr Exclusive ($7) a length away third.
Having finished out of the money at his first two Australian starts on significantly wetter tracks than he encountered on Saturday, the Maher and Eustace stable increased the workload for the galloper.
After jumping awkwardly, Kelly allowed Turn On The Charm to roll forward and sit outside Zoltan.
“It wasn’t really the plan to be where he was, but Alana did the right thing as he was going to be too bold if he was going to get a little bit of cover,” Eustace said.
“She let him stride and he just kept striding to the line, nice and strong.
“He’s got that high cruising speed but we’re trying to get him to do it the right way, getting him to relax, but Alana worked out letting him stride was the thing to do.”
Eustace said as the tracks begin to improve as the Melbourne Spring Carnival approaches, Turn On The Charm could be a contender in a stronger race.
“He’s going to be even better on a genuine dry track,” Eustace said.
“He got away with it today, but the deeper we get into the early and mid-spring and the tracks dry a little, that will suit him.
“He’s got a really good base to being able to stay up for a while and I’m sure we shall have a bit more fun with him.”