Mer­chant Navy a dis­ci­plined per­former

NT News - - ATHLETICS -

CIARON Ma­her has been leav­ing noth­ing to chance as he pre­pares un­beaten Mer­chant Navy for two im­por­tant Group 1 races.

The first of those is Satur­day’s $1 mil­lion Golden Rose at Rose­hill fol­lowed by the Caulfield Guineas three weeks later. Un­de­feated in four starts, Mer­chant Navy will have his first run in Syd­ney on Satur­day.

But the colt has been given ex­ten­sive ex­er­cise on his ‘Syd­ney’ leg work­ing the re­verse way at Caulfield.

He even had a trip to Syd­ney last au­tumn, but failed to get a start when an emer­gency for the ATC Sires’ Pro­duce Stakes at Rand­wick.

“He had a cou­ple of gal­lops up there in that di­rec­tion and I think the trip up there brought him on as a horse,” Ma­her said.

“As a two-year-old he was a bit of a baby and it made him grow up a bit.”

Af­ter three wins as a twoyear-old, the last two over 1400m, Mer­chant Navy re­turned to rac­ing with a win in the McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Septem­ber 2. Ma­her said the three weeks into the Golden Rose and an­other three weeks into the Caulfield Guineas were ideal.

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