THE continued expansion of Ciaron Maher’s racing business has seen him open a stable in Sydney with six horses.
Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, has secured six boxes at Rosehill and the former Emmanuel College student is in discussions with the Australian Turf Club in an attempt to get more on-course boxes.
The training combination led in three winners on Sydney metropolitan tracks last month, while still very successful in Victoria.
“We’ve opened a small stable at Rosehill but are looking at expanding in the future,” Maher said.
“We’re putting into place the same sort of structures and procedures that have been successful at our Caulfield stable. We’ve got Annabel Neasham in charge of the Sydney stable. Annabel has played a major role in our success at Caulfield. We’re fortunate to have great staff within the business. It’s going to take a bit of time but we want the Sydney stable to have all the things in place like at Caulfield, which includes a spelling farm, dressage and pre-training facilities.
“A stable at Rosehill has been something that has been on our mind for a while and winning races in Sydney last month showed us we’re heading in the right direction.”
The success of the Maher-Eustace stable, which has 100 horses in work at Caulfield, has attracted plenty of interest from new owners over the border.
“It’s come a long way since I moved to Caulfield from Warrnambool with three horses more than seven years ago,” Maher said.
“I find setting up the stable at Rosehill is just another part in the progression of our business. We’ve got a lot of owners and support in NSW and in particular Sydney.
“The prize money and bonuses on offer for races in NSW is excellent and that’s not saying it’s not good in Victoria. I think racing in both states offers great variance in races for our owners’ horses which is a great result for all concerned.”
The group one winning mentor, who is established as one of Australia’s leading young trainers, has led in four Grand Annual Steeplechase winners and has not lost sight of his early days training in Warrnambool.
“Warrnambool will always be home,” he said.
“We’ve just purchased a horse called Yensir from the UK with next year’s Grand Annual in mind. He’s got good jumping form overseas. Yensir is now at David’s parents’ stables at Newmarket in England. Yensir will do time in quarantine before coming into our stable at Caulfield to be prepared for the Grand Annual.”
Al Garhood won the Annual in 2010 and 2011, while Regina Coeli was successful in 2015 and 2017 for Maher. Eustace joined in the training partnership with Maher on August 1 this year after being the assistant trainer for the stable since mid-2016.
WARRNAMBOOL based jockey Luke Williams was outed by stewards following his winning ride on Tough Vic at Mortlake on Saturday.
Stewards found him guilty of using the whip on 12 occasions prior to the 100-metre mark – seven more than permitted.
Williams, who has three rides at Alice Springs on Melbourne Cup Day, starts his suspension on Tuesday night and ends midnight November 12.
Tough Vic’s trainer James McNamara congratulated Williams after the winning ride.
“We needed a strong rider and Luke fitted the bill,” McNamara said.
“I think he’s an underrated jockey. I told Luke to get Tough Vic going from the 800-metre mark. He’s a tough horse who needs a long time to wind up. Tough Vic can be lazy. It was a big win considering he was carrying 61kgs.”
The Koroit hobby trainer said he will enter Tough Vic for various races over the next few weeks.
“I’ll put in an entry for the Dunkeld Cup,” he said.
“It’s one of the options that are open to us. There’s no guarantee that we’ll run him in the Dunkeld Cup as there are other nice distance races on the calendar over the next few weeks. We’ve got a jumping career in mind for Tough Vic next season.”
Tough Vic has won four of his 29 starts.
LIGHTLY raced Warrnambool trained filly Skyway Star is heading to the spelling paddock following her run at Flemington on Saturday.
Skyway Star ran seventh behind Aristia at her fourth start in the group 2 $300,000 Wakeful Stakes, for Symon Wilde.
“We really threw Skyway Star in at the deep end,” Wilde said.
“I thought her effort was super. It was a massive jump in grade for her, as she’s still eligible for maiden races. I would say we’ll give her a good break now.
“I think she’s got a bright future. With a good break, she should come a lot stronger in the autumn.”
Skyway Star took her stake earnings to more than $15,000 with her effort at Flemington.
LOCAL omen punters were left with worthless betting tickets and scratching their heads following the unplaced run by Nifty at Motukarara in New Zealand on Sunday.
Punters, who were trying to get a betting bank for the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, backed the four-year-old mare on the hunch she was named after former legendary Camperdown jockey Neville “Nifty” Wilson.
For the record, Nifty has been unplaced in her three career starts.
WHO TO FOLLOW
FRED KERSLEY: promising young apprentice. Kersley showed his skills booting home three winners at Mortlake on Saturday. More wins are in store for the young hoop.
ANA OPERA: huge run when she resumed at Mornington on Sunday. She missed the start and then went wide in the run before passing some runners over the last 200 metres in the 1200 metre race. Punters should keep an eye out for her the next time she supports silks.
BONS AWAY: beaten by a smart type at Flemington. He’s ready to win again.
LAND OF PLENTY: looked to be a bit unlucky in a 1600 metre race. In great form and another win or two would not surprise.
DIVINE QUALITY: surprise winner over 1100 metres. She’s got strong second up form so should be hard to beat again next time.
LADIES FIRST: battled on well in the Lexus Stakes on Saturday. She looms as a likely type for the Sandown Cup.