Phoenix Thoroughbreds star mare Loving Gaby enjoyed a spin around Sandown on Tuesday (August 12) as Ciaron Maher and David Eustace plot a mouth-watering campaign including a shot at The Everest.
The now four-year-old confirmed her juvenile promise by landing two Group Ones last season with the Manikato and William Reid added to an already impressive record. She’s working her way back towards a first start of the season in the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley and looked to enjoy her work between races under Ben Melham.
“That’s the race (Moir) we thought, she loves The Valley and we thought we’d kick her off there and then head up for the Everest then into the Eagle,” Maher told Andrew Bensley.
“I thought the Eagle was particular a real target for her, well both race really, but it’s pretty restrictive the Eagle and she’s been out to those trips before. As a two-year-old she just did it on raw ability, as a three-year-old she worked out what it was all about, she was very strong. I think now she’s furnished a bit more mentally and it’s a realistic goal now to step her up to that trip (1500m).”
As for her work today, Maher continued:
“I thought she’d work like she did today, she did a bit of pace work earlier in the week and I just didn’t think she did enough, so I wanted to take her there (to Sandown) to give her a nice blowout. Ben got off and said she’d relish a mate and in the past, she’s been quite aggressive. She’s come out really well, everything seems spot on with her and now we have a few weeks up our sleeves. She still has a bit of a winter coat and condition on her, but she’s right where we want her.”
If all goes to plan Phoenix Thoroughbreds could have two runners in The Everest with the Dubai-based owners hoping Loving Gaby will join homebred and co-owned Farnan in the World’s most valuable sprint.
“She’s made for it,” said Maher of Loving Gaby’s Everest ambitions.
“She’s a multiple Group One winner and she’s raced in Sydney, she been out to that trip, she’s a mare and she’s improved every prep and there’s no reason she won’t do it again.
The full Andrew Bensley interview with Ciaron Maher, including updates on Prague and Holyfield can be found here.