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Maher tests 1000 Guineas stocks

Trainer Ciaron Maher is looking forward to unbeaten filly Kooweerup testing her Group 1 potential at The Valley on Saturday as the performance could tell him plenty about his Thousand Guineas stocks.

Kooweerup, who followed her debut win at Sandown in April with a Group 3 victory at Morphettville later that month, galloped with and finished on terms with Thousand Guineas second favourite Loving Gaby at The Valley on Tuesday morning.

Maher said later that Kooweerup was more advanced in her preparation and so Saturday's 1200-metre fillies race fitted in well with her campaign whereas Loving Gaby was further behind in her campaign.

"They just worked over half a mile and Loving Gaby led Kooweerup just so she (Loving Gaby) would do a bit more work," Maher explained. "Loving Gaby is still a little bit away and hasn't trialled yet.

"Still, it was strong work and they did it under their own steam. Mark Zahra has done a lot of work with Kooweerup, and he gave her a good report.

"She's come on from her jumpout trial and I think she's pretty right to go on Saturday.

"She's going to improve out of the run. She's still yet to really furnish. She's furnished a bit since her two-year-old year, but I think we'll see the best of her in the autumn."

All the same, Maher said the filly had the talent to go to the top.

"If she gets a nice draw and the race maps pretty well, she's a horse with quite a bit of ability," he said of Saturday's race. "She's always shown us that.

"She's in the Thousand Guineas so that would be an ideal goal for her. We'll build on her black type. She's a Stakes winner and if she can start to work into the Group races that would be ideal."

Kooweerup is by dual hemisphere marvel More Than Ready out of Allez Wonder who, apart from running third in the 2008 VRC Oaks, won the 2009 Toorak Handicap at $41.

It was yet another Group 1 win for the late Bart Cummings and the first for the future internationally-recognised jockey Michelle Payne.

Loving Gaby, who was twice Group 1-placed in Sydney in the autumn, goes to the Caulfield jumpouts next Tuesday as she prepares for a spring that promises so much after a profitable yet busy autumn.

"She came in a little bit later," Maher explained. "She went a bit deeper as a two-year-old and ran in some tough races. We just took our time with her. She had a little bit longer in pre-training and is going to kick off a little bit later.

"I like the way she's improving each week. She still looks a bit wintery but now she's had a trip away from home and with the gallop this morning that will start to move her coat and with the weather improving, she's a little bit behind but she's ticking along nicely.

"This morning there wasn't a lot between them but Kooweerup is ready to go to the races and Loving Gaby is still a bit away.

"On face value you'd say Loving Gaby is probably more the ready-made product whereas Kooweerup is still improving."

Loving Gaby, picture Quentinjlang.com

 

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