Ciaron Maher can do no wrong this winter, the flying Caulfield-based horseman scoring yet another feature race win with his improving import Kapour beating them home in the ATC Winter Cup 2015 at Rosehill over the weekend.
Maher’s season has undoubtedly been highlighted by the dual Group 1 success of his classy mare Srikandi who completed the Stradbroke Handicap – Tattersall’s Tiara double in Queensland.
This Saturday gone he continued the good form with Toylsome five-year-old Kapour winning the sole black type of the weekend in Australia, Sydney’s $100,000 Listed Ronald McDonald House Westmead Winter Cup (2400m).
Only seven lined up in the handicap clash and jockey Kerrin McEvoy had the mount on the winning gelding who improved notably on a last start sixth behind Digitalism in a 2040m Moonee Valley handicap from the start on the month.
Three weeks between runs and the step up to 2400m suited the galloper who has now won four of his dozen starts.
Kapour ($8) relished the Heavy (8) track at Rosehill Gardens, the known mudlark running away to put an all-too-easy four and a half lengths on runner-up, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Bonfire ($4.60) who was still brave in defeat carrying the big 59kg top weight.
Finishing off the Winter Cup trifecta a further length away in third was then the Chris Waller-trained beaten favourite Danchai ($3.70), the last start Ipswich Cup winner unable to give his trainer back-to-back wins in the off-season showdown.
Kapour was quick out of the gates and McEvoy assumed control of the race early taking the eventual Winter Cup winner out to the lead turning the race into a genuine staying test in the mud.
Maher originally instructed McEvoy to take the sit behind likely leader Bonfire, but the jockey was more than happy to throw the challenge down and take up front running instead.
“I said to Kerrin this morning, ‘Bonfire will lead and we’ll sit on its bum’, but he said, ‘no they’ve been riding him a little quieter’,” Maher told The Sydney Morning Herald post-win on Saturday.
“I didn’t really mind as long as he rolled along and if there was no speed I wasn’t happy for him to lead.
“He was able to and controlled it.”
McEvoy has been friends with Maher since the hoop was an apprentice for Lindsay Park and Maher was then a novice jumps jockey, the two combining in recent times for plenty of on-track success.
Maher was so impressed by the ease of Kapour’s Winter Cup win he is now considering the back-up into the $150,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) Thursday week, July 9, a race he prepared Mr O’Ceirin to win two years ago.
“It wasn’t really a plan, but it looks a nice option now,” Maher said. “He’s done a good job and I’m keen to get up there again.”
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2015 Winter Cup Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Gardens – 27/06/2015
|1||5||KAPOUR (IRE)||Ciaron Maher||Kerrin McEvoy||–||4||54kg||$8|
|2||1||BONFIRE (GB)||Gai Waterhouse||Danny Beasley||4.5L||2||59kg||$4.60|
|3||2||DANCHAI (GB)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||5.5L||1||55.5kg||$3.70F|
|4||4||GOSH (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||7.5L||3||54kg||$31|
|5||3||OUR VOODOO PRINCE (GB)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||7.9L||7||55kg||$4|
|6||6||DREAM FOLK||Gregory Hickman||Ms Winona Costin (a)||8.8L||6||54kg||$5|
|7||7||RAPA NUI||Wanda Ings||Rory Hutchings (a)||32.2L||5||54kg||$101|