Bede Murray needed to be convinced to start Darci Be Good in Thursday’s Hawkesbury Gold Cup but it proved a wise move as the gelding raced to victory in the Group Three feature.
Murray also had World Wide in the $150,000 event and his trainer son Paul had Alma’s Fury, so Murray was originally keen to split them up.
“I was considering not running him and had another race that I was thinking of for him,” Murray said.
“But they (the owners) told me they wanted to run him so I said OK.
“I then said to them ‘he’s as good as he’s ever been and he’s probably the best chance of the three’. And it turned out that way.”
The feature race of the Sydney summer, the Group Two Villiers Stakes, is now likely to be the target for Darci Be Good ($13), who defeated Isopach ($5) by a long neck with the same margin back to Praecido ($51) in third.
The Villiers (1600m) is on December 22 at Warwick Farm.
The Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) was the feature race on the Ladies Day program at the provincial racetrack and it was fitting that leading female rider Kathy O’Hara played a starring role on Darci Be Good.
O’Hara had the four-year-old in a prominent position in the run and got moving before the turn, which proved a winning decision.
Darci Be Good is raced by a syndicate of people involved with the Illawarra Turf Club.
“It’s great to ride a winner for these boys,” O’Hara said.
“I had a lot to do with them at Kembla when I was apprenticed there. They’ve stuck with me on this horse and it was good to repay them today.
“Bede also had him in great condition and I knew before the race he would run well because he looked great.”
Jockey Christian Reith rode a winning treble but felt it could have been four had Isopach not ducked in behind the winner early in the straight.
“He cost himself victory,” Reith said.
Jockey Nathan Berry felt favourite Malavio, who is headed to the Villiers, was brave in defeat finishing fourth after sitting outside the lead.
The Listed Ladies Day Cup (1300m) was taken out by All Legal who defeated Triple Elegance and Dee’n’Gee.