Merchant finds his treasure
CIARON Maher is confident Merchant Navy is on target for the $ 1 million Golden Rose at Rosehill on Saturday.
Bidding to extend his unbeaten run to five, the colt will be ridden by Mark Zahra.
TAB $ 9 third favourite behind Menari ($ 2.10) and Pariah ($ 6), Merchant Navy faces the toughest challenge of his career. But Maher said reverse gallops at Caulfield and a trip to Sydney last year had contributed to a faultless preparation.
“He’s been smooth,” the trainer said. “He’s a colt. They don’t need time in the paddock before their grand final ... so far so good.”
Maher hopes Merchant Navy’s familiarisation work at Caulfield will pay off.
“They do reverse gallops quite a bit at Caulfield. It’s to manage the tracks and I don’t mind it either,” he said.
“He went up as a two- yearold to Randwick when he was going to run in the Sires but was an emergency.
“He had a couple of gallops up there and I think the trip brought him on. As a twoyear- old he was a bit of a baby and it made him grow up.
“He galloped the reverse way on Tuesday.’’