The Real Character stood up and pressed his claims for a possible start in the Group 1 Queensland Derby next month when he easily won the Group 2 Queensland Guineas over a mile at Eagle Farm in Brisbane on Saturday. Character, who was unplaced in the Group 1 Australian Derby at Randwick on his previous start, appeared to appreciate the return to firmer ground and the drop back in trip when beating Dark Destroyer and Ashgrove easing up.
Jockey James Orman settled the 3yo sixth on the fence before taking a run between the leaders at the top of the home straight. As he’d done in winning the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes at Newcastle at the end of March, Character sprinted quickly to take the lead before asserting in style. It was Character’s second Group victory and his fourth win, with four placings, from 16 starts for prize money and bonuses totalling A$476,665.
Godolphin stable representative Nacim Dilmi deputised at Eagle Farm for head trainer James Cummings. “Obviously he didn’t run too well last start in the Australian Derby but the plan was to ride him similar to how Tommy Berry did two starts back at Newcastle when he was dominant, and he was quite dominant again today,” Dilmi said.
“Maybe the step up in distance last start was too much for him. We did think he would handle it but back to a mile today he was very good. He made it easy today. It was a very good win.” Orman was delighted with the performance and said the Teofilo gelding was bolting during the run. “He was well prepared by James Cummings and his team at home, I was the winner a long way out,” Orman said. “I just had to find a run and away he went.
I would have liked him to relax a bit more, but they were going pretty steady and he gave me a good feel in the run to the line.” Orman believed Character should be given a second chance over the Derby trip, hopefully on a firmer track than he encountered at Randwick. “The way he ran through the line, then you’d have to have another crack,” he continued. “He would be loving this Queensland weather and hopefully he continues prepping for the Derby.