Bede books the King of the Coalfields to ride hot Cup fancy
A BREAK has worked wonders for the Bede Murray-trained Darci Magic who lines up in Sunday's $50,000 Grafton Motor Group South Grafton Cup (1600m).
"He's had a nice freshen up with this race in mind," the astute Kembla Grange trainer said.
"His work has been good and he's in good order.
"He's a handy sort of fella and it looks a nice race for him.
"We wouldn't be heading to Grafton unless I thought he could win."
A July Carnival rarely goes by without Murray or his trainer son Paul figuring in the plethora of races on offer.
Murray's pinnacle was the Grafton Cup win of Count Scenario in 1999.
Darci Magic, a four-year-old by Darci Brahma purchased as a yearling in New Zealand for $65,000 and raced by a syndicate headed by Gosford based owner John Wilson, is coming off a last start 5.9 lengths ninth to Grafton Cup nomination Reigning over 2000m at Rosehill on June 13.
"He just didn't measure up over 2000 metres in that grade," Murray said frankly.
"1600 metres is his right distance."
Darci Magic's previous form included a Randwick 1600m Benchmark 90 win on April 25 and a solid 1.3 lengths fourth to Tales Of Grimm in the Scone Cup (1600m) on May 15.
More than handy form for a race like the South Grafton Cup.
Darci Magic has proved consistent throughout his career registering six wins and four placing's from 23 starts earning connections $242,525 prize money.
Murray said the gelding was a different horse this preparation.
"I put blinkers on him 12 months ago and they didn't suit him.
"He was missing the start and doing a lot wrong in his races.
"It took a while to get his confidence back again and when he did I spelled him.
"He's done everything right this preparation.
"He's matured in his mental makeup and we've got him back on track."
Murray has another plus with Darci Magic - the engagement of Robert Thompson AM for the gelding.
Hall Of Fame jockey Thompson missed the opening day of the carnival but like Murray, rarely does a carnival go by without the Cessnock hero snaring a big race win.
Thompson has won five South Grafton cups - Brigalow (1984), Retford (1988), Shoemaker (2002), Logan (2008) and Myramira for Rodney Northam last year.