Ciaron Maher’s 2014 Crown Oaks winner Set Square will bypass the autumn riches and instead be saved for a Spring Carnival return later in the year.
The now four-year-old daughter of Reset won the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) during a gun run throughout her three-year-old campaign in the spring of 2014, but has failed to win again since.
She was far from disappointing last spring however including her nice third to Preferment (1st) and the recently retired-to-stud Chris Waller-trained mare Royal Descent (2nd) in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
Stepping up to the mile and a half next start a fortnight later, Set Square failed to fire in last year’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) when 16th beaten nearly 11 lengths by Kiwi visitor Mongolian Khann.
Her latest start was at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day when fifth to the French raider Gailo Chop in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
Despite nothing being notably wrong with the $854,000 earner, Maher described Set Square’s action in pre-autumn work as “a bit off” and will send her back out to the paddock.
“We couldn’t really pinpoint an issue with (her), but her action was a bit off and she seems to thrive in the spring, so we’ll give her a nice break now and bring her back in the spring,” he told Racing Victoria.
The stable’s reigning Crown Oaks winner Jameka meanwhile is doing better and is tipped to return in the $150,000 Group 3 The Vanity (1200m) against her own kind at Flemington on Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Day, February 20.
A likely end-of-autumn aim for the daughter of Myboycharlie, who was also runner-up to Stay With Me in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) last time in, is Sydney’s $1 million Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m).
The 2016 Australian Oaks runs on Day 2 of The Championships at Royal Randwick, April 9, and is an Oaks Maher hasn’t won as yet.
Nominations for the Australian Oaks close next Monday on February 8 along with those for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Sydney Cup, Queen Of The Turf Stakes, Doncaster Mile, TJ Smith Stakes, Australian Derby and Inglis Sires’.
Maher has plans to target the $3 million Group 1 The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 2 with his Myer Classic third placed mare Azkadellia who could run first-up Saturday week in the $150,000 Group 3 Geoffrey Belmaine Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
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