Aquis, Maher combine for Breeders' success

4 min read
Dubious already looms as a valuable stallion prospect for Aquis Farm after winning the G3 Arrowfield Breeders' Plate.

Aquis Farm and Ciaron Maher are already hoping Dubious (Not a Single Doubt) can join a long list of Breeders' Plate winners to make their mark as stallions after the colt's hard-fought win in race record time at Randwick on Saturday.

Aquis and Maher combined to buy Dubious at this year's Gold Coast Magic Millions for $350,000 and while he has only had just one start, he looks like he may repay them many times over for that investment.

Dubious was a $350,000 Magic Millions purchase

Current star stallions Snitzel, Pierro, Sebring and Smart Missile are among those to have won the Breeders' Plate in the past 15 years along with emerging sires Capitalist and Vancouver.

Maher revealed after the win, that they had always fancied Dubious as a prospective stallion long term and the opening 2-year-old colts' race of the season was the perfect kick-off point.

“He was our most precocious colt. Shane McGrath from Aquis mentioned the idea. It’s a stallion making race and that is what we aim to do with this horse. He’s started his career very well," Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, said.

“Aquis have supported the stable really well and myself. It’s good to kick off this horse’s career with a win like this.”

Maher's former talented 2-year-old Jukebox currently stands at Aquis and this win strengthens their association even more.

Dubious stamped himself as a contender for this race with a professional trial win at Randwick earlier this month.

“Only a little horse, but has a big horse’s action, the further he goes the better he is going to get.” - Michael Walker on Dubious

“We brought him here a fraction soft with the idea of that trial bringing him on and Hugh Bowman gave him a good report," Maher said.

"He had a bit of a blow and you can see he still has a bit of a coat on him. It brought him on enough, he worked well on Tuesday and the team up here have done a good job with him.”

Jockey Michael Walker continued his strong recent form in Sydney with a well-timed ride, delivering a late finishing burst that saw Dubious overwhelm Covert Ops (I Am Invincible) late in the race.

"Michael Walker does a lot of work for us at home so great for him to be on board and hopefully there is more in store,” Maher said.

Walker was full of praise for the colt and his preparation for his debut.

“He was strong to the line, he was well educated, gave me a really nice feel,” he said. “Only a little horse, but has a big horse’s action, the further he goes the better he is going to get.”

Blue Diamond target for Catch Me

Meanwhile, Catch Me (I Am Invincible) looks headed for the G1 Blue Diamond S. in the autumn after she won the Keeneland Gimcrack S. with some authority.

"Obviously a filly with good potential.” - Peter Snowden on Catch Me

Co-trainer Peter Snowden was delighted with the two-and-three-quarter length victory considering Catch Me was forced to track wide throughout the race.

“I said if they were going too hard come back a touch but he tried that and was still six deep. She was shunted wide on the corner on her own doing it all herself. It adds more merit to the win. Obviously a filly with good potential,” he said.

“I said to the owners yesterday if she runs well, the Blue Diamond is perfect timing for her. That’s what we’ll have in mind for her.”

It’s a significant victory for Yulong Investments, who bought Catch Me for $625,000 at this year's Easter Sales.

Catch Me was a $625,000 Inglis Easter purchase

From one of the best racing families in Australasia, with her fourth dam being the legendary Eight Carat (GB), she is already a valuable breeding commodity after just one run as a 2-year-old.

It is the second win in the Gimcrack S. in succession for the Snowdens, who won it last year with Satin Slipper (Pierro).