CIARON Maher saddles up a two-pronged attack as he tries to win his first Ballarat Cup on Saturday.
The former Winslow export, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, has the favourite Thought Of That and Charleise in the $500,000-listed event on the 10-race program.
With no Melbourne meeting on Saturday the Ballarat race day carries metropolitan status.
The powerful training combination, who have stables on-course at Ballarat, accepted with 17 runners for the meeting.
Maher rates Thought Of That to be ridden by Linda Meech his best chance of winning the 2000-metre race.
"Thought Of That is racing in great heart," he told The Standard.
"He's won his last three starts. I've been very happy how he's gone through his grades.
"Thought Of That has a nice weight which helps his hopes. It's a jump up in class to the Ballarat Cup but I'm confident he'll run well. Linda rode him last time when he won at the Valley.
"She's got a great understanding of the horse. Thought Of That has drawn an ideal barrier and Linda should have him in a good spot in the run."
Thought Of That's stablemate Charleise is to be ridden by Melbourne Cup winning jockey Jye McNeil.
"It's Charleise's first try at 2000 metres," Maher said.
"There's every indication he'll run out 2000 metres but you never know until your under race pressure. I would love to win a Ballarat Cup.
"We've had stables in Ballarat for nearly three years and received wonderful support from various groups including some very loyal owners. It would be a wonderful result for the stable if we could win our first Ballarat Cup."
Early betting markets rate Thought Of That a $3.60 chance while stablemate Charleise is a $17 hope.
The Ballarat Cup is scheduled to start at 4.20pm.
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