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Maher in search of Classic types at Karaka

4 min read

Ciaron Maher is hoping to add to his tally of Oaks and Derby winners at this week's New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale of 2YOs at Karaka.

Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, is at Karaka this week looking for potential Classic horses for next season.

Having already trained two G1 VRC Oaks winners and a G1 Queensland Derby winner, Maher knows what it takes to develop a young stayer and thinks the Ready To Run Sale is a good a place as any to find the next Jameka (Myboycharlie {Ire}), Set Square (Reset) or Ruthven (Domesday).

Ciaron Maher with Kiwi filly, Utzon

"You've got that Classic type of horses over here. It’s a sale we’ve had a bit of success out of. We bought Beach Life (Hinchinbrook), that ended up running the Derby out of this Ready To Run Sale. The horses are well grown and educated and I like the sale and the way they bring them up over here," he told TDN AusNZ.

"The horses are well grown and educated and I like the sale and the way they bring them up over here." - Ciaron Maher

"I only got in last night. I had a bit of a shortlist. There are some nice horses and the sale seems to be a buyers' type market. You never know we might get a couple."

Maher said the opportunity to see the horses breeze-up gave him a chance to assess their action and determine what type of horse they may be.

Watch: Ciaron appreciates the opportunity to see the horses in action, Lot 70 Iffraaj (GB) x Just A Dream (NZ) sold to Hardwicke Racing/ Waterford Bloodstock

"I like to watch the gallop, just for the action, for the way they move," he said.

"Whether they’ve got a high action, or a low action, whether they swing a leg or not. I'm more on type, but I do look at the gallops as well. Not so much on time, more how they do it."

Many strings to bow

Maher and Eustace are committed to having many strings to their bow in their stable. Maher is especially keen to make a continuing impact in the breeding and bloodstock side of the industry, after Merchant Navy's graduation from 3-year-old Group 1 winner into a Royal Ascot victory and now an in-demand stallion at Coolmore.

"That's what it's about, getting the boys into the breeding barn, and getting black type for the mares to get them there too." - Ciaron Maher

"Last year was a great year for the stable. We got Jukebox and Merchant Navy into the stallion barn. That's what it's about, getting the boys into the breeding barn, and getting black type for the mares to get them there too."

Merchant Navy is now standing at Coolmore

Maher and Eustace have also made a great start to the 2-year-old season with stakes winners in Sydney and in Melbourne through Dubious (Not A Single Doubt) and Bella Rosa (Snitzel).

"We opened the account a bit wider last year and bought some nicely-bred colts and fillies. To kick off with a couple of them winning the Breeders' Plate and the fillies' race on Cup Day was great and a bit of a tick for the stable and the system and everyone involved," he said.

"Dubious would be our best colt and is headed to the Magic Millions, while Bella Rosa will head to the Blue Diamond series."

Ciaron Maher classes Dubious as his best colt

Adding depth

All the while, they have been adding depth to their middle distance and staying ranks with two recent purchases out of Europe at the recent Tatts Autumn Sale.

"We picked up Another Eclipse (Ire) (Lope De Vega (Ire) and Mister Belvedere (Archipenko {USA}). I thought they were good horses, they are proven, they go on good surfaces and they would come out and be genuine Saturday horses over here," Maher said.

"With the prizemoney how it is over in Australia, I just thought they were genuine Saturday class, and if they improve, who knows."