Charge Forward's day at Flemington

Charge Forward has capped a terrific spring with the quinella in the $150,000 VRC Maribyrnong Plate 1000m G3, on the final day of Melbourne Cup Week at Flemington.

Pictured: Direct Charge & Steven Arnold stave off a late charge by Bellerive sale graduate Crack A Roadie & Craig Williams at Flemington today. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

2YO colt Direct Charge set a strong pace in front and was 2 lengths in front with 150 metres to run when Crack A Roadie (Charge Forward-Road to Damascus by Flying Spur) flew at him. The pair were separated by only a half-head at the finish, with Direct Charge prevailing to become Charge Forward’s fourth stakeswinner this season after Cavalry Rose, Urban Groove and Crack A Roadie, winner of the MVRC Inglis Banner 2YO S. which carries Restricted Listed status.

Shamus Award (Snitzel-Sunset Express by Success Express) was a length behind Crack A Roadie in third place, completing an Arrowfield-sired trifecta.

Direct Charge was bred by long-time Arrowfield Stud clients Peter Stewart and Bridgett Woodford-Smith who sold him from their Huntworth Stud draft for $105,000 at the 2012 Inglis Classic Sale. The successful buyer was trainer Robbie Laing who indicated today that the still-developing colt would now be aimed at rich Inglis bonus races in Sydney.

Bridgett Woodford-Smith recalls Direct Charge as “a very, very nice yearling, a laidback, very nice-moving horse who was so nonchalant about parading at the sale.”

His dam Lady of Choice (by Redoute’s Choice), described by Bridgett as “a big, lovely-looking mare”, was unraced because of an injury suffered in training, but has produced four winners from her first four foals. She is visiting Charge Forward again this spring.

Peter and Bridgett work with a band of ten mares, and have bred & sold horses for 40 years with many successes including the 1981 Melbourne Cup winner Just A Dash, who died last week at the grand age of 35.

Direct Charge was one of three 2YO winners by Charge Forward today. The brilliant son of Red Ransom was also represented by Sydney debut winner Assail (ex Emanday by Redoute’s Choice), and Zaragoza (ex Portrayal by Flying Spur), who won at Te Rapa in New Zealand. Both were purchased from the Arrowfield draft at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, Zaragoza by Peter McKay for $37,500, and Assail by Clarry Conners for $40,000.

The trio provides further proof of Charge Forward’s great liking for mares by Danehill & his sons: they have produced seven of his 10 stakeswinners from a total of 57 runners bred that way.

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