By Ray Hickson
Promising colt Tanker has already shown himself to be a readymade two-year-old and trainer Ciaron Maher is confident we'll be seeing a lot more of him at the business end of the season.
Tanker is one of three youngsters, alongside Anders and Cellsabeel, from the Maher and David Eustace stable in the $1 million Golden Gift (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Maher said each of his three runners have a future but clearly it’s Tanker that has stuck his hand up with an impressive debut win in the Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield last month.
“He's certainly our most precocious and early two-year-old but I would say he has enough scope to go on,’’ Maher said.
“He was quite raw when he won but he put them away and he looks like he's come up and is improving with each experience he has.’’
The Golden Gift will qualify the winner for any feature two-year-old race for the rest of the season, due to the $580,000 unrestricted first prizemoney.
It’s clear the race has been a target for Tanker, a $170,000 Gold Coast purchase, as Maher sent the colt to Sydney early and give him a spin around in the clockwise direction.
“He travelled up and had a trial the Sydney way of going and looked quite good doing that,’’ Maher said.
“You'd think he will only improve out of his first-up run. He's had the experience both in Melbourne and Sydney and was quite impressive.’’
Ben Allen rode Tanker to his debut win and makes the trip to Rosehill on Saturday where the colt, $3.10 TAB favourite, jumps from the inside alley.
Anders also has experience in the Sydney direction with a debut fourth behind See You Soon at Randwick two weeks ago and it was a run that puzzled Maher.
Clearly a bit was expected of Anders as he started that race a $2.90 chance, he’s $19 in the Gift, but faded after leading around the turn to be beaten 2.6 lengths.
“He performed below what I expected so we'll throw some blinkers on there, he might lack a bit of focus,’’ Maher said.
“He's showed a bit at home and his trials were quite impressive so hopefully he can improve.’’
Tanker wins a trial at Randwick on November 1
The filly Cellsabeel will face a tough task to win the Golden Gift on debut from the outside alley but Maher has an opinion of her and was deflated by the barrier draw.
Cellsabeel caught the eye with a Rosehill trial win on October 29 and Maher said how the filly jumps could dictate whether she goes forward or back.
“She's a nice strong filly that has trialled up well but I see she drew 17 so that might make it difficult,’’ Maher said.
“With two-year-olds it's hard to get a guide, hopefully she breaks well and we can go from there but you'd rather a better barrier than that.’’