Connections of emerging staying filly Set Square will now pay the late fee for the Crown Oaks 2014 this Melbourne cup Carnival after she came off a Ballarat maiden to score a strong win in the $120,000 Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield Racecourse today.
Ten three-year-old fillies lined up in Caulfield Cup Day race three this afternoon, the event a nice lead-up for those looking to go up in class on November 6 in the $1 million Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington Racecourse.
That is exactly where local Caulfield trainer Ciaron Maher plans to go with his progressive Reset filly Set Square following her black-type win on one of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival’s biggest race days.
“We thought if she could win today we’d pay the late fee,” Maher told TVN post-win.
“Providing she trains on (she’ll run in the Crown Oaks).”
It was an impressive effort from the youngster who was having just her third career start today on the back of two maiden runs, the most recent of which produced an October 8 win at Ballarat over the mile.
Given a lovely ride by last year’s Caulfield Cup winning jockey Nicholas Hall, battling the flu this week, Set Square put a notable gap on her rivals on the home straight and held her lead to score by one and a half lengths over the odds-on favourite Maastricht ($1.95).
“It’s been a tough prep so it’s good to keep winning,” Hall said.
A winner of two of her previous three starts, Maastricht was not without her chances today and neither was the third placed Imperial Lass ($16) for Peter Moody who raced a bit keenly at the start with blinkers on for the first time.
“I like to win, it was a great ride from Nick and she’s a progressive little filly,” the winning trainer Maher said after the race.
“I’m just wrapped I can train her.”
Set Square was one of the best out of the gates while Maastricht was eased back by jockey Dwayne Dunn trying to slot into a spot with a battle for positions taking place in the early stages of the Ethereal Stakes.
Lady Macan went up to hold a slender lead before Veuvelicious, who had to do a bit of work early, moved up to take up front running at the top of the track with 1100m left to go.
Imperial Lass meanwhile was positioned beautifully in fourth with cover just ahead of the eventual Ethereal Stakes winner Set Square who was sitting in fifth with a patient Hall biding his time.
Round the turn Imperial Lass moved up into second with Maastricht coming round the outside, looming powerfully on the corner.
But it was Set Square who quickened nicely and got off on the inside pulling away to hit the line strongly and hold off her challenges with plenty of upside to come, Masstrict not sprinting as well as expected and unable to run her down.
With the late entry fee now to be paid for Set Square her price in futures Crown Oaks betting is sure to firm at Ladbrokes so check out the updated markets and get behind her this week.
“The 2000 (metres) wasn’t a worry at all today,” Maher added.
“And I don’t think the 2500 (metres) will worry her either (in the Crown Oaks).”
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2014 Ethereal Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 3 – 18/10/2014
|1||8||SET SQUARE||Ciaron Maher||Nicholas Hall||–||5||55kg||$7.50|
|2||3||MAASTRICHT (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||2L||10||55kg||$1.90F|
|3||9||IMPERIAL LASS (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||2.4L||7||55kg||$15|
|4||10||HIPSTER GIRL||Jason Warren||Ben Melham||5.65L||4||55kg||$11|
|5||2||GOLCONDA||Robbie Laing||Vlad Duric||6.65L||8||56.5kg||$31|
|6||1||VEUVELICIOUS||Brent Stanley||Chad Schofield||8.4L||9||57.5kg||$16|
|7||4||LADY MACAN||David Payne||Hugh Bowman||8.7L||6||55kg||$8.50|
|8||11||TEARS OF JOY||Mark Kavanagh||Glen Boss||9.1L||1||55kg||$26|
|9||6||SAVAGE COUP (NZ)||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||10.35L||2||55kg||$20|
|10||12||SISTINE STAR||Andrew Noblet||Ms Michelle Payne||11.85L||3||55kg||$101|
|–||7||LITTLE HOTTIE (NZ)||Michael Kent||Dean Yendall||–||0||–||–|
|–||5||MISS INTERIORS||Anthony Cummings||Kerrin McEvoy||–||0||–||–|