Charterhouse takes out the 2023 Cranbourne Cup

Charterhouse had only had four runs in Australia leading into Saturday’s Listed Cranbourne Cup (1600m) and was largely unwanted in betting at $16 but relished a strong tempo set by stablemate Ascension ($6.50) to charge home and win by a head from Foxy Cleopatra ($3.90 fav) with Just Folk ($7) a further length away in third.

A listed winner in Ireland over a mile, Charterhouse had shown glimpses of very good talent with strong finishes in two runs at Flemington over the Winter but was beaten some 14 lengths last start in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) second up from a spell.

Added fitness and a sharp drop in grade, aided by a well-timed ride by Declan Bates saw Charterhouse claim the $500,000 feature, with stable representative Jack Turnbull praising the entire Maher & Eustace Cranbourne operation for their role in the win.

“A massive team effort. The horse has been in good form, but he’s had a chequered prep, to say the least. He’s had a bad blood, he stepped on a plate, so we’ve been pushing and persevering saying the horse is going well, but at the end of the day, you need the results and we got that. The rain came and he relished the mile,” Turnbull said.

Stepping from 1200m to 1600m second up at Group 1 level was always going to be a challenge for Charterhouse but Turnbull said the stable always had this race as an ideal target.

“We knew he was doing what we wanted him to do at home. He went from running over six (furlongs) down the straight and running admirably but probably found that too sharp and then fitness wise, second time at the mile, we were right up to the mark today.”

Declan Bates, who has had a remarkable, dual Group 1 winning spring aboard the Maher & Eustace trained Pride Of Jenni, was always confident the horse was travelling well enough despite being well off the lead.

“I was hoping to land midfield with a bit of cover, but he came out travelling a bit strong so I wanted to make sure I got cover to make sure he dropped the bit. I probably had to come back further than ideal to do that, but the tempo was good enough and he just travelled so well wherever I went,” Bates said.

“From where we were in the field, it was a good win.”

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