Merchant Navy a disciplined performer
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.