Still unbeaten after capturing Wednesday’s Road to the Kentucky Derby Conditions S. at Kempton, Chares could well have Derby dreams – but probably in Hong Kong next year rather than Churchill Downs in May.
The €710,000 Arqana Arc Sale recruit will eventually be Hong Kong-bound for his new owner, Y. H. Yue. First, though, Chares furnished a prompt return on that investment in his debut for trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam, and under a crafty front-running ride by John Egan.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained New World Tapestry might have been expected to go forward early, especially from his rail draw. Although he did show tactical speed in the opening strides, jockey Ryan Moore did not pursue that tactic.
Egan, already trying to contain an eager Chares, opted to take what was handed to him, and let him go on with it. Favored in the British market and the slight 8-5 second choice on this side of the pond, Chares controlled the pace and quickened in style down the stretch.
Berlin Tango, the 3-2 favorite in North America and second choice abroad, stalked early but could not cover Chares’ decisive move. The George Strawbridge Jr. homebred stayed on to reduce the winner’s margin to 1 1/4 lengths without posing a threat.
Chares appeared to have more in reserve as he finished the Polytrack mile in 1:39.47. The chestnut could claim the 20 points on the European Road if connections change plans and nominate him to the Triple Crown. Berlin Tango, also not a Triple Crown nominee, doesn’t figure to deposit his 8 points either.
New World Tapestry, the only entrant nominated to the Triple Crown, earned 4 points for third but needs considerable improvement to advance his candidacy. Crossing the wire more than three lengths behind Berlin Tango, New World Tapestry was only three-quarters of a length in front of longshot maiden Naval Commander (who would be eligible for 2 points). Ayr Harbour finished last of the five.
The German-bred Chares is now a perfect 4-for-4. His first three starts came in France with trainer Christophe Ferland. Dominant by 6 lengths in a newcomers’ event at La Teste de Buch near Bordeaux, he ventured further south to Dax and hacked up by 6 1/2 lengths in a conditions race. Chares made his stakes debut in the Sept. 27 Criterium de Lyon, where he got up by a measured neck. A week later he toured the Arqana sales ring.
From the first crop of Ivawood (a scion of the Danzig male line via grandsire Invincible Spirit), Chares is out of Italian stakes winner Coco Demure by Titus Livius. His fourth dam, Pas de Deux, was a Queen Elizabeth II homebred who produced a pair of major winners in the Royal silks – Grade 1 hero Unknown Quantity and Group 2 victress Starlet.