Talented three-year-old Set Square has stamped her claims as a serious staying contender leading into 2015 at Flemington this afternoon; displaying an exceptional turn of foot in the final straight to win the featured Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) comfortably.
Jumping from the gates well, leading jockey Hugh Bowman settled the Reset mare in prime position on the heels of early leaders Fontein Ruby, Imperial Lass and pre-post favourite Lumosty; quickly falling into a comfortable racing rhythm.
Continuing to stalk the leaders over the back straight and receiving an ideal run in transit, Set Square steadily spooled up and exploded upon reaching the final 300m of the 2014 Crown Oaks, pulling to the lead with 200m to race and extending to find the line two lengths in the clear of a brave Thunder Lady; Golconda running on for third.
Bowman delivered a typically polished ride on Set Square for victory in the 2014 Crown Oaks, securing his second victory in the feature race after partnering Samantha Miss to glory in the race’s 2008 edition.
“She’s a good filly and she raced herself into contention here,” Bowman said after winning the 2014 Crown Oaks.
“Ciaron Maher (trainer) is just an excellent conditioner of these middle-distance to staying-type horses and I haven’t ridden a lot for him but I couldn’t think of a better way to get the association off.
“It took me a little bit of settling; I didn’t settle her until down the side here at about the 1800m mark; I was a bit concerned early doors that she was doing too much within herself.
“But once I got her into a rhythm the pace was moderate but when the pressure went on I was just in the perfect spot to pounce and I had the perfect horse to pounce for me.
“It’s just great to be here at Flemington on Cup week and it’s great to be involved as a jockey.”
Ciaron Maher was understandably thrilled to chalk up his first Group 1 Crown Oaks victory with Set Square this afternoon and was quick to heap the praise on the efforts of his team, Bowman and the talented three-year-old.
“She’s been so progressive; obviously we didn’t enter her for the race, she was a late nomination but she’s just really thrived this preparation every time we’ve put a saddle on her,” Maher said.
“She always showed me that she was a natural stayer and after her Caulfield win (Listed Ethereal Stakes) she’s just thrived.
“There was no question, I train a lot of stayers and jumpers and she always had a great constitution and breathed and just had that real staying-type action, so there was never any question with the trip. It was probably just more her first prep and whether she had the experience to win a race like this.
“She’s a really raw filly and in herself she’s just going to develop a lot, she’s still fairly immature so she’s got a very bright future.
“Great effort from all the team at home, they do a great job and I’m just rapt.”
Finishing third in a minor over 1354m on debut on September, Set Square has quickly announced her racing arrival in winning both a maiden event over 1600m and the Listed Ethereal Stakes (2000m) leading into her Crown Oaks triumph.
Punters who backed Set Square to win the 2014 Crown Oaks at Ladbrokes.com.au and had signed up for a Ladbrokes Card will already have access to their winnings!
2014 Crown Oaks Results
|1||8||SET SQUARE||Ciaron Maher||Hugh Bowman||–||2||55.5kg||$7.50|
|2||5||THUNDER LADY (NZ)||John Sargent||Tommy Berry||1.5L||8||55.5kg||$10|
|3||7||GOLCONDA||Robbie Laing||Vlad Duric||1.8L||1||55.5kg||$21|
|4||12||HIPSTER GIRL||Jason Warren||Ben Melham||3.8L||10||55.5kg||$101|
|5||6||ABDUCTION||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||4.55L||7||55.5kg||$11|
|6||4||LUMOSTY||Robert Smerdon||Nicholas Hall||4.75L||9||55.5kg||$4.40F|
|7||2||GO INDY GO||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Chad Schofield||7.75L||5||55.5kg||$5|
|8||3||CRAFTY||Robert Smerdon||Jamie Spencer||8.5L||3||55.5kg||$7|
|9||11||YESTERJOY||Clarry Conners||Jim Cassidy||9.25L||11||55.5kg||$31|
|10||9||GAME OF FAME||Jason McLachlan||Damien Oliver||10.25L||4||55.5kg||$31|
|11||10||IMPERIAL LASS (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||11L||12||55.5kg||$81|
|12||1||FONTEIN RUBY||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||11.1L||6||55.5kg||$11|