Caulfield trainer Ciaron Maher is keen to have a second go at qualifying his stable star Mr O’Ceirin for the Caulfield Cup after a return to the winner’s stall in the $100,000 Printhouse Graphics Handicap (2040m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
Maher is hoping a year on that Mr O’Ceirin has matured and strengthened up after narrowly missing out on a start in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield last Spring.
Mr O’Ceirin almost secured a start last year when half a length second to Folding Gear in the Group 3 $150,000 D’Urban Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 22 with a win guaranteeing a Caulfield Cup berth.
“He was a bit stiff not to get into the Caulfield Cup last year,” Maher said.
“He had a good run in the Naturalism but just got caught. He might be a bit stronger this year.”
Leading Melbourne jockey Glen Boss was Mr O’Ceirin regular rider in the Spring and was again aboard steering the five year old to a three and a half length win after setting the pace at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
“That’s the way he races. He pulls and tugs and gets up there and makes his own luck,” Maher said.
“It looked like he had a bit on them and that’s how it panned out.”
Maher was delighted with the second up win over 2040m but can’t wait to get the promising stayer up to 2400m.
Early Caulfield Cup markets have Australian Derby winner It’s A Dundeel the favourite at $7 with Darren Weir flashy grey Puissance De Lune also in the market at $9.
Victorian Derby and The BMW winner Fiveandahalfstar and Australian Oaks winner Royal Descent are also in contention at $10 and $11.
Mr O’Ceirin still has a bit of work to do to force his way into Caulfield Cup contention and is rated a $151 chance at the moment.
Meanwhile Maher will concentrate on smaller prizes and give Mr O’Ceirin one more run at Moonee Valley over 2040m on Saturday week before heading north for the Listed $150,000 100th Grafton Cup (2350m) at Grafton on July 11.
A break is then pencilled in before pursuing a Spring Carnival campaign.
“I might leave him up there for a bit of sunshine for three weeks,” Maher said.