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Smith Keeps Cool About Maher's City Debut

By Ray Hickson

There’s no doubt in trainer Matt Smith’s mind that My Maher is a city class mare but he’s keeping his expectation in check for her metro debut at Randwick on Saturday.

My Maher has won four of her five starts, and was narrowly beaten in the other, but Smith has focused on placement and reaped the rewards.

The mare has clocked up plenty of kilometres in her four wins at Scone, Albury, Nowra and Goulburn.

“The races just fell the way they did and the guys like winning so we kept going where we thought she was going to be hard to beat,’’ Smith said.

“Every time we had a race in town picked out something went wrong so it just fell that way.

“It’s hard to keep winning as you’re going up in grade but she’s a nice mare and I reckon she will measure up in the city this time around.

“She has her rating up now and she has to come to town.’’

My Maher's close barrier trial second to Global Glamour at Warwick Farm - December 19

Smith said he’s been more than pleased with the four-year-old’s two barrier trials ahead of the Spinalcure Racing4Research Sprint (1000m), where she was $6.50 with TAB on Wednesday afternoon, but remains slightly reserved about making it five from six.

That comes from My Maher having a “decent blow’’ after both her trials, the latest a close second to dual Group 1 winner Global Glamour, but he said there are also positives.

“She is beginning a lot better than she did last time in, she was an ordinary beginner but she’s wanting to ping the lids and put herself there which is good,’’ he said.

“It’s a good indication your horse is back in the right shape. I can’t fault her, I just feel like she is probably going to take a run but with regards to the program we have lined up she has to start.’’

The Warwick Farm trainer is in two minds about where to run last start Wyong maiden winner Aqua D’Ivina who is one of six acceptors in the ATC Owners Benefit Card Handicap (1400m).

The blueblood filly is a horse Smith has a lot of time for and he’s wary of throwing her in the deep end with an easier option at Canterbury on Wednesday up the sleeve.

“It’d be nice to keep her going forward and keeping her confidence up,’’ he said.

“I don’t want her being exposed to extreme pressure early in the preparation when we don’t have to and I think she’s a bit better over a little further.’’

Smith said he would study the Canterbury nominations before committing to starting at Randwick where she is hard in the market at $3.90.

Speaking of Canterbury, Smith sees no reason why Irish Success can’t break his maiden status when he resumes in the TAB Plate (1100m) on Friday night.

The gelding hasn’t raced since giving Saturday class mare I Am Serious a big fright at Warwick Farm back on May 31.

“I don’t see why he wouldn’t be right in that. He has trialled well, only just got beaten last time in by a pretty decent horse,’’ he said.

“He fought when the winner came to him so I expect he will be in front for a long way.’’

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday's meeting at Royal Randwick

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