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By Graham Potter | Saturday, August 12, 2023

The French-bred gelding Chernak regained his winning touch when he landed a BM78 Handicap over 2206m at Eagle Farm on August 12.

it was third time lucky over the track and distance (or close to it) for the Chris Waller trained son of Dariyan, who had tackled a 2212m and a 2200m race at the city track in his previous two starts in which he had finished second and fifth respectively.

Mark Du Plessis was in the saddle for the first time here in a race in which the Waller camp had three runners, the $4.20 favourite Carbonetti, Chernak at $6.50 and Oz Legend, who jumped at a starting price of $7.

Patience is often the name of the game in staying races and Du Plessis had that in spades as he kept Chernak racing well within himself some nine lengths back in third last place as the eleven-strong field went down the back straight.

It was only in the latter half of the sweep to the home turn that Du Plessis started to get to work on Chernak, knowing the he would have to produce a sustained run from there to get the chocolates, and the pair straightened seven wide, still on heels, but soon to become the widest runner … with it all still left to do in the run home … and it would take the almost whole length of the straight for Chernak to run down the leaders.

Coming from where he was, Chernak could not miss a beat … and he didn’t.

Even so, it was not until very late in the running that he was hailed as a winner as, firstly, Carbonetti tired to keep Oz Legend at bay at the head of affairs coming through the 180m (but failed to do so).

Then Chayse ‘N’ Artie ($7) moved up to tackled Oz Legend with 150m left to run (and got the better of him) only for Chernak, who had just kept coming under a under a perfect ride, to sweep past all of those runners when it mattered most to get up and win by 0.50 lengths.

Since relocating from France where he won once in five starts, Chernak has put a further two wins behind his name in a further ten starts.

*Just as a bit of trivia, five of the first six runners past the post in this staying race were non-Australian bred horses … one from France, two from Ireland and two from New Zealand … Chayse ‘N’ Artie being the exception.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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