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Maher Puts Blue's Sydney Cup Credentials To The Test

By Ray Hickson

He was the surprise packet, to most, of Everest Day but Big Blue could be set on a Sydney Cup path if he can post his second Randwick win in seven days on Saturday.

Trainer Ciaron Maher (Pic: Bradley Photos).

Big Blue tackles the Listed $140,000 City Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) and co-trainer Ciaron Maher is hoping for similar heavy conditions that faced him in his all the way St Leger win last weekend.

“We don’t get many races that are in his grade, over that trip and on that sort of track and he really thrives under those conditions,’’ Maher said.

The seven-year-old ex-Godolphin import is unbeaten in three starts for trainers Maher and David Eustace.

He was a Listed winner over 3000m and Group 1 placed in France but failed to run a place in six Australian starts last year for Godolphin.

He was picked up at a dispersal sale with jumping as his target but the upset St Leger win suggested to Maher he has plenty to give in staying races under the right conditions.

“The horse was in super order and just started to thrive,’’ he said.

“I thought we’d be going out there to see where we are it but when the weather came I thought we were a genuine chance.

“He’s still going to do what we bought him for but the Sydney Cup might be an option for him now.’’

Big Blue was a $31 chance when he led all the way to win the St Leger and that win has earned him some market respect with TAB rating him a $6.50 chance.

Somewhat ironically, the $2 Cup favourite is High Bridge – a horse with six hurdle wins in Europe before switching to Chris Waller. He was a last start fourth in the Group 1 Metropolitan.

“A lot of the team backed him last week, I said to Jay Ford ‘I know he has hurdle form but if you go back to his form in Europe he wouldn’t be out of it’,’’ Maher said.

“If you look at his European form clearly he is a very good stayer and he has a beautiful action.’’

Jay Ford sticks with Destiny's Kiss on Saturday so Adam Hyeronimus has picked up the ride on Big Blue.


Big Blue leads all the way to win the St Leger at Randwick on October 13

Maher and Eustace, who have a small team based at Rosehill, are in line for their a Sydney winner at a fourth consecutive Saturday meeting and if Big Blue doesn’t ring that up he’s confident Right Or Wrong has his chance in the Jem Computer Systems Handicap (1400m).

Right Or Wrong has finished runner-up at his last two starts and clocked a race fastest last 600m of 33.08 (Punters Intel) in running second to Maximus on September 29.

“He’s been a bit unlucky. I was surprised he was so far back last start givcen he sat closer the start before,’’ Maher said.

“And he probably goes close to beating Trekking on that day if he doesn’t get held up.’’

Right Or Wrong ($4.80 with TAB) has won up to a mile and if he is successful it’ll be his first win for 980 days as he had over two years off before joining Maher.

Meanwhile, Maher said Breeders’ Plate winner Dubious was given a freshen up after his debut win and will begin work shortly as he chases the two biggest prizes in two-year-old racing in 2019.

“His aim is the Golden Slipper but he will probably go to the Magic Millions along the way,’’ Mahger said.

“He’s had a couple of weeks off and will come back into work at the end of this week.’’

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

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