THE powerful Ciaron Maher racehorse training operation took its Melbourne metropolitan winning tally for the 2023-24 season to 50 with a double at Sandown on Saturday.
Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace won the last two races on Saturday's nine race program with Right You Are and Glory Daze. They hold a 14-win break over their nearest rival Peter Moody who has led in 36 winners for the season.
The Winslow training export acknowledged his hard-working staff for reaching the 50 Melbourne metropolitan winners milestone.
"We're very lucky to have such great staff across our various operation," Maher told The Standard. "We could not achieve the results we get without our staff. They all work hard and do great jobs."
Right You Are, who had a suspensory injury as a four-year-old, won his third consecutive race with Ethan Brown in the saddle for the Maher-Eustace stable taking out a $150,000 benchmark 100.
"It was a good ride by Ethan," Maher said. "He allowed the front runners to set a fierce pace before coming with a well timed run. Right You Are's owners have been very patient as the horse had injury issues when he was younger. His owners are being rewarded now for their patience. We may look at races like the Hobart Cup or the Launceston Cups in the future and our long term goal could be the Mornington Cup in April."
Imported galloper Glory Daze won a $130,000 benchmark 78 over 1700 metres and Maher predicted more wins are in store for the four-year-old stallion.
"Glory Daze has improved a lot since his first Australian start at Warrnambool last month," he said. "We've got a healthy opinion of his ability. He came to us with solid overseas form. He's just taken a while to get used to our training methods. I think you'll see a better horse when he gets out over more distance in the future."
Talented jockey Mark Zahra had the winning ride on Glory Daze.
Lightly raced Warrnambool mare Wrote To Arataki, meanwhile could be set for the Tressady or Mannerism Stakes in coming weeks after scoring a dogged victory in Saturday's $200,000 group three Bellmaine Stakes at Sandown.
Wrote To Arataki, who was brilliantly ridden by top jockey Jamie Kah hung on to defeat Belle Er Riche by a long neck with Forbidden City in third spot in the 1300 metre contest. The four-year-old mare has won four of her ten starts for trainer Matthew Williams and her two last victories have seen Kah in the saddle.
Kah is impressed with the tenacity of Wrote To Arataki after she started from barrier ten.
"Wrote To Arataki is all heart," she said. "She's so tough. She had a bit of time between runs so she was quite fresh and well. She was tiring over the last 100 metres but she was never going to let the other horse go past her."
Williams was glowing in his assessment of the front running ride by Victoria's leading jockey.
"I don't know how it happens but Jamie has an uncanny knack of getting horses to flow in their races," he said.
"We don't give her any instructions, we'll say you ride her how you find her. Six months ago, I wouldn't have thought Wrote To Arataki could lead and win a race, but she's done it in her last two starts and a pat on the back for Jamie there.
"Wrote To Arataki used to get a bit stirry on race-day but she's a bit more relaxed now. She's always had the ability and we knew it was there."
Wrote To Arataki took her prize-money to more then $265,000 with Saturday's victory. The group three Tressady Stakes is run at Flemington on February 18 while the group three Mannerism Stakes is set down for decision at Sandown on February 25. Both races are run over 1400 metres.
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