AN impressive track gallop up the hill at Ballarat last Monday, paved the way for the Ciaron Maher-trained Al Galayel to defeat Prince Ziggy by more than a length at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The Winslow-raised Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, floated Al Galayel to their Caulfield stables after the gallop to prepare the seven-year-old for Saturday's $125,000 race over 1600 metres.
"It was a great result to start the 2020-2021 racing season with a winner," Maher told The Standard.
"We were going to run Al Galayel in the 2040-metre race but when the nominations were down for the 1600-metre race, we decided to go down that path and it worked out.
"I've got to give credit to my brother Declan and the other staff at Ballarat.
"They said Al Galayel's work on the hill track was excellent. We floated Al Galayel back to Caulfield on Monday and just took him down to the Mordialloc beach for a couple of days to keep him fresh for Saturday's race."
The multiple group one-winning trainer said Al Galayel was now ready for races over more ground.
"We'll look for a race over 2000 metres for him next time," Maher said.
"He's got a great record around Moonee Valley. He's won three of his six starts there. We'll try and find another suitable race in the future for him."
Al Galayel took his stake earnings to more than $385,000 with the victory.
Meanwhile, A Good Yarn ran third behind Brooklyn Hustle for Warrnambool trainer Merv McKenzie in a 1000-metre race.
A Good Yarn tried to lead the whole way but was run down by Brooklyn Hustle and Propelle over the concluding stages.
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