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Upcoming Caulfield-based horseman Ciaron Maher is gearing up his team for the Melbourne and Sydney Autumn Racing Carnivals, confirming this week plans for his Crown Oaks winner Set Square to contest the 2014 Australian Oaks at Randwick in April.
The three-year-old daughter of Reset has won three of her four career starts to date, most notably a one and a half-length victory over Thunder Lady in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on November 6.
Now Maher plans to give her a shot at an Oaks double with the $1 million Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on Sydney Cup Day, April 11, on the agenda.
After a third on debut at Donald back in mid-September Set Square progressed to win her next three runs with a two length effort at Caulfield in in the Listed Ethereal Stakes (2000m) 19 days before the Group 1 her only other black type start.
Her other victory was in a Ballarat maiden on October 8 when racing wide throughout over the miler clash to improve and score by a half-length.
Dean Yendall had the ride for her opening two starts, Nicholas Hall taking over for the Ethereal Stakes that saw Set Square settle on the fence just off the pace before pulling out a nice late run, through a gap that opened at the right time, and sprint off with the win.
Hugh Bowman then rode her for the very nice Crown Oaks victory where she again enjoyed a nice barrier (2) to settle on the fence, overcome a check at the 1800m and track up before taking the split and surging away.
Like a number of Maher’s autumn hopes, Set Square returned to work at his Caulfield stables a few weeks ago and is on track for the Oaks assignment.
“She has done really well in the paddock,” Maher told Racing Network on Monday.
“She put on some weight after maybe five weeks out and she looks terrific.
“She is being prepared for the Sydney carnival with the Oaks her goal.”
Other autumn Group 1 hopes for Maher next year include Toorak Handicap fourth placed Akavoroun who targets the George Ryder Stakes – Doncaster Mile double and Light Up Manhattan.
Fourth in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at the start of last month, Manhattan Rain colt Light Up Manhattan will look to improve on that run behind Preferment in the $2 million Group 1 BMW Australian Derby (2400m) on Doncaster Mile Day, April 4.
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