Day At The Track

Fidelius Charm hard to beat on Friday

01:28 AM 04 Mar 2009 NZDT
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Chris Lewis
Chris Lewis - And connections of Fidelius Charm

Outstanding young reinsman Morgan Woodley declared that Fidelius Charm would prove hard to beat in the $30,000 Hankook Tyres Country Derby at Gloucester Park on Friday night after the smart filly drew barrier one in the 2536m group three classic.

He gave punters a good lead when he chose Fidelius Charm as his drive ahead of The Skiva Man, a promising gelding whom he handled when he set the pace and finished second to Beyond Help in the Great Southern Derby at Narrogin on Tuesday of last week.

Woodley has driven Life Sign filly Fidelius Charm only once in her 21 starts, and that was in the North Eastern Derby at Northam last month when she worked hard without cover for two laps before fighting on gamely to finish second to the pacemaker Jett Dee.

Jett Dee started from barrier one and Fidelius Charm from No. 5. “If you had reversed the barriers, I’m sure Fidelius Charm probably would have beaten Jett Dee,” Woodley said. Jett Dee is suffering from a hoof injury and will not contest the Country Derby.

Fidelius Charm, one of three fillies in the event, is the most experienced and most successful runner in the race, with her 21 starts producing five wins, seven placings and $112,354 in stakes. Her two runs since finishing second in the North Eastern Derby have been meritorious. She started from barrier eight in the Sales Classic for three-year-old fillies and sustained a spirited burst from eighth in the middle stages to finish second to La Joconde.

Then she ran home solidly from tenth at the bell to be fifth behind Luvmeluvme over 1730m at Gloucester Park last Monday week.

Fidelius Charm is trained at Northam by Jesse Moore, whose only previous win in a Country Derby was when Kim Young drove Norwest Boy to victory over Runaway Mustang in 1993. Woodley’s only previous drive in a Country Derby was behind Lord Matao last year. Lord Matao started from barrier one and led for the first 1000m before Justin Prentice sent the 11/8 favourite Trunkey Daydream to the front.

Trunkey Daydream won from General Naseem and Lord Matao to give Bunbury trainer John Graham his second win in the event. He trained and drove Ferrari Trunkey when she won the classic in 1987.

Graham holds a strong hand in this year’s event with four runners --- Beyond Help, Fusion Power, Sargent Sonny and The Skiva Man.

Though Prentice was successful in the Great Southern Derby with Beyond Help (after facing the breeze), he has opted for Fusion Power, whom he drove into third place behind Packed Safely and Son of Fergie in the South-West Derby at Bunbury on February 7.

Fusion Power, a winner at three of his six starts as a two-year-old, was racing first-up for six months in that race and he impressed in finishing solidly from tenth at the bell. He then had a tough run without cover when a wilting sixth behind Truckers Ruffnut in the Battle on Bunbury.

“He’s got a chance of winning if there’s plenty of pressure on during the race,” Prentice said. “I think the hardest to beat will be Packed Safely from barrier two.”

Packed Safely, to be driven by Ron Young, was most impressive in winning the South-West Derby in which he raced without cover early and then in the one-out, one-back position before sprinting home strongly to hit the front 250m from home.

Ken CASELLAS

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