Charmont delivers Group One for Emery

Matt Cameron getting Charmont home at the head of the field in today's Gr.1 Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes.

Matt Cameron getting Charmont home at the head of the field in today’s Gr.1 Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes.

Ill-health prevented Bob Emery being on course when realising a Group One dream with Charmont at Te Rapa today.

Emery bred and races Charmont, a High Chaparral grand-daughter of his Melbourne Cup close runner-up Champagne, whose seven wins included the Gr.1 MacKinnon Stakes and the Gr.1 Ansett Stakes.

“I’m rapt for Bob Emery,” said co-trainer Andrew Forsman after watching Charmont grab the Stephen Marsh-trained Thee Auld Floozie to win the Gr.1 Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes, the flagship event for the Te Aroha Jockey Club.

“I’m gutted he’s not here today. He’s a bit crook at home at the moment. Hopefully this will help him pick up a little bit.

“He’s been a great owner, very patient. He’s let us do our own thing and place her right. This is a great result for him. “

Emery, Forsman and Charmont’s senior co-trainer, Murray Baker, have always had plenty of faith in the talented mare and that faith never wavered when she continued to stack up a long sequence of black-type placings without cracking one.

She gathered eight black-type placings, including a third behind Savaria in the Gr.1 NZ Oaks, and 12 months ago she was down at Riccarton chasing that elusive first stakes success in the Gr.3 Valachi Downs South Island Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes. She had to settle for third in the Riccarton feature behind the Brian and Shane Anderton-trained Coulee, who again won the feature recently.

Charmont went on to gather a further four placings after returning from the South Island and finally broke through for her first stakes win in the Listed Te Power Rapa Wairarapa Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes last February.

She then followed on with a third behind Miss Wilson in the Gr.3 Wentwood Grange Cuddle Stakes at Trentham, but was allowed to start at odds of 16/1 in her latest feature assignment.

Today was, however, her day in the sun and she eclipsed such notable efforts as placings in the NZ Oaks, Royal Stakes, Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic, Sunline Vase and Manawatu Classic with a much-deserved Group One success.

Ridden by Matt Cameron, Charmont settled off the pace and charged home to grab Thee Auld Floozie, who was being hailed as the winner when she dashed to the front halfway down the home straight.

Charmont’s stablemate, Mime, added to the exciting finish when unleashing a strong run down the outer and wound up third, a long head behind Thee Auld Floozie, who went down to Charmont by a head.

From 24 starts, Charmont has now had four wins and 13 placings and earned almost $300,000 in stakemoney.

“That was a great win and she really deserves it,” said Forsman. “She’s been Group One placed and she’s been thereabouts in really strong races all the way through her career.”

Charmont has found Te Rapa a happy hunting ground with two wins and three placings from seven starts on the track and she will attempt to add to that record later this month when she returns for the Gr.2 $100,000 Travis Stakes at the Cambridge Jockey Club’s meeting.

“Obviously the Travis Stakes is a possible target, both for her and for Mime,” said Forsman. “Mime is another mare who’s gone close in a lot of really good races and deserves to win a big one. She went another top race today.”

Charmont completed a treble of wins at Te Rapa today for Baker and Forsman, following on from the success of Love Affair and the unbeaten Let Me Roar. Then about 10 minutes later there was more celebration in the camp when Bonneval raced away with the Gr.1 Australian Oaks in Sydney.

Charmont and Bonneval’s Group One double today was also cause for celebration at Cambridge Stud as both horses hail from the same family with the third dam being L’Quiz, bred by Sir Patrick and Lady Justine Hogan.