ENIGMATIC stayer Yogi produced a barnstorming finish at the end of 1800 metres to give Ciaron Maher his first winner with a former Darren Weir-trained galloper at Caulfield on Saturday.
Yogi, with top jockey Craig Williams in the saddle, defeated Cool Chap and Magnapal in the $125,000 race.
Weir was disqualified for four years following charges handed down by Racing Victoria stewards last Wednesday.
Yogi, the winner of the Sandown Cup in November last year, looks bound for a start in this year’s $2 million Sydney Cup at Randwick on April 13.
“I’ve always thought Yogi was a bit unlucky in some major staying races,” Maher said.
“The Sydney Cup looks an ideal race. It’s over 3200 metres the same distance as the Sandown Cup. I think he’s an out and out stayer.
“We’ll find a suitable path of lead up races to have him ready to run in the Sydney Cup.”
<p>This might be the start of a big Carnival for Ciaron Maher.<br><br>Yogi takes out the first at Caulfield. <a href="https://t.co/iT4oJtNyCg">pic.twitter.com/iT4oJtNyCg</a></p>— 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@7horseracing) <a href="https://twitter.com/7horseracing/status/1094048282077089792?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 9, 2019</a>
Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace took over the Ballarat stables of Weir last Thursday, also saddled up Voodoo Lad, Land Of Plenty and Night’s Watch at Caulfield - they were once trained by the disgraced trainer.
Land Of Plenty ran second in the Orr Stakes, Night’s Watch fourth in the Carlyon Cup and Voodoo Lad managed a fourth placing in the Rubiton Stakes.
“I was very happy with the runs of the three horses,” Maher said. “We’re just learning about the horses. We’ll give them an easy day or two just to see how they pulled up from the runs.”
Sensitivity and Groot were unplaced in the two-year-old Blue Diamond Preludes for the Maher-Eustace stable.
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