PROMISING stayer Mr O’Ceirin must win today’s $220,000 group 2 Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield to force his way into the field for next Saturday’s $2.5 million Caulfield Cup.
The winner of the Herbert Power is exempt from the ballot in the Caulfield Cup.
Mr O’Ceirin’s trainer Ciaron Maher is hoping to launch a double pronged attack at the Caulfield Cup, as his stable star Moudre is borderline to gain a start in the group 1 race.
Maher, who has stables at Winslow and Caulfield, said he was pleased with how Mr O’Ceirin had progressed since his second placing in the Naturalism Stakes.
“I thought he ran really well in the Naturalism,” he said.
“He did a lot of the work in the run and still boxed on well.
“I reckon Mr O’Ceirin is a horse on the up. He’s still learning. He’s got a high cruising speed and will make a strong stayer.
“I think he will be better suited to the 2400 metres of the Herbert Power than the 2000 metres of the Naturalism.
“Mr O’Ceirin has the ability to make his own luck in the run.”
Mr O’Ceirin had won two races in New Zealand before joining Maher’s stables in June last year.
The trainer said the lightly raced five-year-old was developing into a top stayer.
“Mr O’Ceirin had a lot of potential when we purchased him from New Zealand, but he’s gone to another level now,” he said.
“He’s just kept on improving at each run. I just think he’s got a lot of ability.
“He’s a lot fitter now than when he ran in the Naturalism Stakes.
“Jockey Glen Boss picked him out months ago as a very promising stayer and he’s riding him today, which is great because he understands the horse.”