Bookmakers responded to the brilliant first up win of Ice Chariot in Saturday's $100,000, listed, D'urban Quality Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield by slashing his odds for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
Having his first run since winning the Queen's Cup over two miles in early July, Ice Chariot stormed home and hit the line first in a driving finish.
On the line Ice Chariot ($11-$14) held a half head margin over The Fuzz ($7-$9.50).
Cefalu ($16-$21) was a further short head back in a blanket finish.
The favourite Rubiscent ($2.30-$3.10-$3 fav) had no luck back on the inside of runners and would up in seventh place.
Eskander's Betstar reacted quickly to his eye catching win, slashing his odds for the Caulfield Cup from $81 to $34. He was also into $34 for the Melbourne Cup from his morning quote of $67.
With trainer Ron Maund back in Toowoomba, winning owners Kevin and Tanith O'Brien were representing connections.
Kevin said he thought the gelding could win knowing he was back in career best form.
"We expected it to be quite honest with you," O'Brien commented. "Ronnie was of the opinion that last spring he had maturity problems."
O'Brien said a good spell at his farm in Victoria seemed to do the trick for Ice Chariot.
"He came down to our farm at Corinella for 13 weeks," he added. "He grew half a hand, put on 50 kgs and since then he's been very good."
The son of Semipalatinsk is coming off an excellent preparation when he rounded that out with a great stakes win over two miles.
"When he was third in the Brisbane Cup he was terribly unlucky. He was one run short. And then he went on won the Tatts Cup and Queens Cup."
O'Brien felt that while he was confident Ice Chariot would run well, he was a little concerned that the 1700 metres and the Caulfield circuit may not suit him exactly.
"I thought this track might be too short for him. I was really concerned when Damien hadn't made a move down the side, I thought 'hang on mate you better get going'."
Now it's full steam ahead toward the big spring Cups in Melbourne.
"He only just won, but it was a great stepping stone over 1700 metres leading up to what we have planned for him."
"Before all the EI he was going to go up to Sydney and run in the Newcastle Cup and Metropolitan, but now that's not on."
"He's in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups like he was last year and on that (performance) I think we'll have enough money to pay up for him."
"He's been a great horse for us. He was our first Group One winner when he won the (Queensland) Derby. He won that very, very well."
Today's win was the first at Caulfield for O'Brien since he was elected to the Melbourne Racing Club committee.
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