The airborne Kelly Schweida-trained...
It was the perfect result for Ciaron Maher & David Eustace who took out both the two-year-old Golden Slipper lead-up races at Randwick on Saturday with Prague following on from Away Game’s Widden Stakes win with an impressive victory in the Canonbury Stakes 2020.
First-up it was the Magic Millions Classic winning filly Away Games with a tough all-the-way victory in the fillies’ race before the stable saluted again with progressive Redoute’s Choice Prague taking out the Group 3 $160,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m).
“I was a little bit anxious before the race because I thought he might have just had that X-factor,” co-trainer Maher said of the Canonbury Stakes winner.
“With the shades on and the way he had come on in the coat from his first-up run, there was a bit of timing about him.
“He will take a lot from that today. He actually pinned the ears back and started to work out what it is all about.
“He is a beautiful colt with an extremely bright future.”
Backing-up from a winning debut at Canterbury on January 17, Prague was ridden to victory in the Canonbury by visiting jockey Tom Marquand who enjoyed the double having also been in the saddle for Away Game’s brave effort.
Marquand gave Prague a patient ride settled behind the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained front runner Nitrous who rallied up early on the outside to charge to the lead.
Nitrous led into the turn before Prague began his move at the top of the straight, taking the lead 170m out from the line and storming home for a nearly two length win over the beaten Chris Waller-trained favourite Global Quest.
Return For Honour off an on-speed run rounded out the Canonbury Stakes trifecta just ahead of the fading pacemaker Nitrous in fourth.
Prague won the Canonbury in 1:03.94, a faster time than his stablemate one race earlier (1:04.43) but the colt carried three kilos less than Away Game (57.5kg).
Both juveniles are heading towards the iconic $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 with Prague firming from $34 into $17 and Away Game from $19 into $17 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
“Obviously the filly has probably shown some of her best hand already,” Marquand said on Saturday.
“She has shown she is extremely talented and extremely tough.
“But this lad has a hell of a lot of improving physically and mentally.
“They are two very nice horses going places and Ciaron has a stable full of good two-year-olds who are extremely well managed.”
Current futures Golden Slipper odds are led by the also Maher & Eustace-trained Hinchinbrook filly Cellsabeel ($5.50) who races in next weekend’s $2 million Inglis Millenium (1100m) at Warwick Farm.
Prague is out to join Fine And Dandy (1958), Sebring (2007) and Vancouver (2015) as winners of the Canonbury Stakes – Golden Slipper double.
Updated Golden Slipper 2020 markets are available here courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au.
2020 Canonbury Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||5||PRAGUE||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Tom Marquand||–||5||54.5kg||$4.40|
|2||1||GLOBAL QUEST||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||1.8L||4||57.5kg||$2.80F|
|3||3||RETURN WITH HONOUR||Gerald Ryan||Glyn Schofield||2.1L||3||54.5kg||$6.50|
|4||2||NITROUS||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tommy Berry||5.7L||6||56kg||$5.50|
|5||4||GRAVINA||James Cummings||Ms Rachel King||6.1L||1||54.5kg||$5.50|
|6||6||GORSHIN||Anthony Cummings||Christian Reith||11.7L||2||54.5kg||$20|
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