Melbourne filly Loving Gaby returned to the races with a stunning first up win in the Group 3 $160,000 Piper-Heidsieck Scarborough Stakes (1200m) at The Valley last night.
Loving Gaby raced in elite company during her two year old season for two Group 1 placings with a second in the $1m Inglis Sires’ (1400m) and a second in the $500,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick during the 2019 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Loving Gaby ($6) showed that she is back for a fruitful Spring Carnival campaign after overcoming a wide run before Damian Lane made an early move to circle the field on the home turn to record a neck win over the $3.40 favourite Exhilarates.
The Gerald Ryan trained Villami ($3.80) raced in the first three from the outset and fought on well in the straight to claim third prize.
Co-trainer Ciaron Maher said that Loving Gaby has a ton of improvement to come on her first up win and she has carried her good Group 1 two year old form into the Spring.
“She was a bit soft but that’s what good horses do,” co-trainer Ciaron Maher said.
“They just don’t do that unless they are exceptional and I think she is.”
“She came to the races against a pretty slick field and she’s not fully fit yet and she had to do it the tough way a little bit. She had no favours.”
“She had four group 1 races in her first preparation and they aren’t motor bikes,” Maher said.
“She was a little bit vulnerable because of where she’s at – she’s a bit soft in her preparation so that will bring her right up to speed.”
Maher has selected the Group 1 $1m Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 2 as one of Loving Gaby’s main Spring Carnival targets.