Gaby can produce that Loving feeling
CIARON Maher is confident exciting filly Loving Gaby will be spot-on for the spring carnival despite a late start to her campaign.
While Loving Gaby is behind most of her three-year-old stablemates in her preparation, Maher isn't concerned about her being ready for the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield on October 12.
She will have her first run in the 1200m Atlantic Jewel Stakes at the Valley next month, five weeks before the Thousand Guineas.
"She had a little bit longer in her pre-training," Maher said.
"She had a decent two-year-old campaign. It will be two runs into the Guineas.
"She's in really good order. She had a light gallop last week. I think she'll come to hand pretty quickly."
Loving Gaby made a big impression on debut when she came from last to win at Caulfield. Four of her five starts as a two-year-old were in Group 1s..
She finished a luckless sixth in the Blue Diamond Stakes, then flashed home for fourth in the Golden Slipper after drawing wide, before runner-up finishes in the Sires' Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes at Randwick.
Those performances have created great anticipation about her return as a three-year-old.
Maher has no doubt the daughter of I Am Invincible will live up to expectations.
"She's definitely developed. She's big," Maher said.
"She was a big two-year-old, but she's probably just furnished a bit.
"You would think she will only continue in that upward spiral.
"She's always shown really good ability. She was a bit unlucky not a jag a decent one."
Loving Gaby stayed at home, but Maher and co-trainer David Eustace had several three-year-olds trial at Cranbourne, including Dubious, Kooweerup and Bella Rosa.
Dubious, who won the Group 2 Champagne Classic in Brisbane before finishing fifth against older horses in the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup, will kick off his campaign in Saturday week's 1100m Vain Stakes at Caulfield.
The 1200m Coolmore Stud Stakes on Derby Day is the main target, but Maher has the 1400m Golden Rose at Rosehill on September 28 in mind.
Bella Rosa will begin in the 1100m Quezette Stakes, also at Caulfield next week, and Kooweerup will head to the Valley the following week.
CAULFIELD CUP FOR KENEDNA
Late bloomer Kenedna will be set for the Caulfield Cup as she chases more Group 1 spoils.
A long-range plan to win the Doomben Cup in the winter came to fruition with trainer Ciaron Maher saying picking up the Coolmore Legacy Stakes along the way was a bonus.
The six-year-old mare had an easy trial at Cranbourne on Monday alongside stablemate Humidor, who Maher will target at a third Cox Plate.
Kenedna will resume in the 1400m PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield next Saturday and Maher said the plan was to run in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) a week before the Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Maher said Kenedna had continued to improve.
"She seems happy, she's trialled well and is in good order," Maher said.
Kenedna and Humidor were previously trained by Darren Weir before his disqualification.
Maher said Weir had a high opinion of Kenedna and deserved credit for convincing the owners to keep racing her rather than send her to stud.
Humidor, who finished second and third in the past two Cox Plates behind Winx, will attempt to win back-to-back Memsie Stakes later this month.