Victory Stakes 2015: Winter winner Srikandi warms to trip again as Ciaron Maher chases northern riches   Leave a comment

Victory Stakes 2015: Winter winner Srikandi warms to trip again as Ciaron Maher chases northern riches

Srikandi and Glen Boss combine for another win during the sprinter’s highly successful ve

Srikandi and Glen Boss combine for another win during the sprinter’s highly successful venture north last year. Picture: Mark Calleja Source: News Corp Australia

LAST year’s Gold Coast meeting set in motion a stellar 12 months for Ciaron Maher.

The popular trainer plans to repeat the success on Saturday, starting with another full-on winter tilt with Srikandi.

After winning a benchmark 70 in Melbourne last year, Srikandi headed for the Coast and won the Silk Stocking and another two stakes races before claiming third in the Stradbroke as the $6 favourite.

After Srikandi set last year’s Queensland carnival alight, Maher won Melbourne’s Winter Championship with Akavoroun and a few months later Set Square won the Group 1 VRC Oaks for the stable.

Trainer Ciaron Maher after Srikandi won at this meeting 12 months ago. Picture: Luke Mars

Trainer Ciaron Maher after Srikandi won at this meeting 12 months ago. Picture: Luke Marsden Source: News Corp Australia

Maher insists the whirlwind success has done little to change his laid-back style.

“I’m just a horse trainer,’’ he said.

“I’m in the city (at Caulfield) now and you have to be competitive in those type of races. It’s been a great 12 months and hopefully it can continue.’’

Srikandi was popular in Queensland last year and punters have not forgotten, confidently backing her to turn the tables on her Stradbroke conquerors River Lad and Temple Of Boom in the Victory Stakes at the Gold Coast.

Ciaron Maher with Srikandi during last year’s Queensland winter campaign. Picture: Mark C

Ciaron Maher with Srikandi during last year’s Queensland winter campaign. Picture: Mark Calleja Source: News Corp Australia

A big part of Srikandi’s success, according to Maher, is the fact she’s built more like a male.

“She’s not the most feminine of horses,’’ he said.

“She was a big, strong girl last year but she’s even bigger and stronger now.

“I’m definitely happy we missed the spring.

“She could have raced but I just didn’t think she was flying. She was aiming at the Group 1s and you don’t win those races when you’re going just OK.

Srikandi works at Eagle Farm last year. Picture: Mark Calleja

Srikandi works at Eagle Farm last year. Picture: Mark Calleja Source: News Corp Australia

“I told the owners I didn’t think they could win in the spring so there was no point racing her.

“We have always been pretty patient with her and looked after her pretty well.

“Hopefully doing that will pay dividends at this carnival.’’

Srikandi will not be at her top for another run or two, but Maher said her competitive instincts, combined with a kind draw, could see her home on Saturday.

“It’s been a nice and smooth campaign and I think she’s come up very well,’’ he said.

“She’s a real competitor and even in the Stradbroke when the fourth horse Spirit Of Boom looked like getting past her, she wouldn’t have a bar of it.

“She will be improved by the run here and then again by the next one, but knowing that competitive streak it wouldn’t surprise me if she won.”

Maher said he may have one or two three-year-olds join Srikandi in Queensland, but they first had to prove themselves in the south to earn a trip north.

Srikandi gets a wash down after winning at the corresponding meeting on the Gold Coast la

Srikandi gets a wash down after winning at the corresponding meeting on the Gold Coast last year. Picture: Luke Marsden Source: News Corp Australia

Originally published as Maher chasing the Kandi again

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Posted April 25, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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