Ciaron Maher will saddle both Jameka and Set Square in Saturday’s 2016 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield, but has revealed that he cannot split the Group 1 winners leading into the feature race.
Jameka and Set Square are the two most recent winners of the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m), and they pair have each returned to racing in typically competitive form this time.
Having returned for fourth in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 13th, a race in which Set Square resumed for ninth, Maher rated Jameka a greater chance of success than her stable mate in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) a fortnight ago but she could only manage seventh, while Set Square charged home for third.
Maher told Racing Victoria that both mares have taken great benefits from their two runs so far, and is confident they will both relish the conditions of the Naturalism Stakes this weekend.
“Leading into the Dato I thought Jameka might have been a bit sharper around the Valley but her race didn’t go to plan and Set Square sat wide and flowed into the race nicely,” Maher said.
“They’re both progressing through their campaigns nicely and they’re probably both better suited getting out to 10 furlongs (2000m) this Saturday.
“Both of them have improved with each run and they both worked really well (Tuesday) morning at Caulfield on the steeple grass.
“Set Square is probably down the (Caulfield Cup ballot) order a bit further so if she was able to win that would be ideal but I don’t think there’s a lot between them.”
Jameka has been a strong and consistent performer for Maher throughout her entire racing career so far; posting three wins and a further seven minors through only sixteen competitive appearances.
Resuming this year for fourth in the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m), the Myboycharlie filly ran fifth in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) and third in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) before placing second in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m); returning to the paddock after running fourth in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m).
Set Square was won three of her fourteen career starts since debuting in 2014; running in the minors a further six times.
Jameka is currently a $7 second-favourite in early 2016 Naturalism Stakes betting markets with Ladbrokes Australia, while Set Square can be taken at a $10 quote.