CIARON Maher’s bid to gain a start in Saturday’s $2.5 million Caulfield Cup with Mr O’Ceirin is over after the horse ran 13th in the group 2 Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield.
Mr O’Ceirin had to win Saturday’s $220,000 race if he was to run in the feature group 1 Caulfield Cup.
Champion jockey Glen Boss told connections after the race that the horse felt short in his action.
Stewards inspected the five-year-old and reported he had a slower than normal recovery rate.
Port Fairy businessman Geoff McLaren, who is among the part-owners with his wife Lyn, said Mr O’Ceirin was heading to the spelling paddock.
“We knew there was something wrong with him when he dropped out of the race from about the 300-metre mark,” McLaren said.
“We’re just glad that the problem is nothing major. Ciaron has done a great job with the horse since he started training him in June last year.
“The horse has just kept on improving. It’s disappointing that he ran like he did in the Herbert Power, but that is racing.”
The former Warrnambool auto electrician said Maher would now set Mr O’Ceirin for races next autumn.
“There’s a few races which we would love to run him in when he comes back into work. One of those is the Warrnambool Cup,” McLaren said.
“We finished in fourth place with him this year in the Warrnambool Cup and he’s improved a lot since then.
“I reckon Ciaron would love to win a Warrnambool Cup as a trainer after his success as a Grand Annual Steeplechase trainer and we would love to win a Warrnambool Cup as owners.”
Mr O’Ceirin has won more than $170,000 in stake money from his 20 starts.