FOR a trainer of the calibre of Ciaron Maher to rate the win of Away Game in the $2 Magic Million Classic as one of his most satisfying victories in his training career shows how significant the racing action is on the Gold Coast for the week.
Despite drifting in the betting Away Game gave Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, his first win in the Classic when the lightly raced two-year-old beat Stellar Pauline and Conceited over 1200 metres.
"I must admit I got a bit emotional after Away Game won," the multiple group one-winning trainer told The Standard.
"I think I got caught up in all the emotion of the week. It's a huge week inspecting yearlings and then going to the sales and buying them.
"There's a lot of pressure going on behind the scenes with various functions and other things on. Away Game's win is a great result for our stable.
"It's a wonderful reward for all the hard work put in by our staff and it's tremendous result for Away Game's owners."
The four-time Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase-winning trainer said he rated Away Game's chances strongly despite her drawing a wide barrier.
"She's a nice type of filly," Maher said. "She's not overly big but she's got a great motor. Her trackwork up here was exceptional and I was not over concerned with the wide barrier.
"I though she would run well. It was a top ride by Luke Currie."
Away Game was sold for $425,000 at last year's Magic Millions sale and is raced by a syndicate of women.
Away Game's victory was the second leg of a Gold Coast double for the Maher-Eustace stable. They won a $250,000 race with Etana earlier in the day.
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