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Punt Pays Off For Maher

When Ciaron Maher moved his training operation from Warrnambool, to set up at Caulfield among the big league, it was a gamble that has since payed off for the trainer.

If there were ever any doubts they were surely erased on Wednesday, at Flemington, when Set Square won the Oaks.

It was nothing less than a freakish performance, the transition from finishing third, in a maiden at Donald, to winning the $1million Oaks, plus two wins in between in the space of 53 days, is nothing short of remarkable.

The talents of Maher can never be questioned; he is not only a highly skilled trainer but a young man with a great future ahead of him.

Furthermore, all on just one preparation, there are no immediate plans for the filly Set Square, a break in a nice green paddock before the Spring grasses dry out would be the most likely option.

Her pedigree is nothing to enthuse over, even though she had won at her previous start she went into the Oaks having won at 2000 metres of the Ethereal Stakes at Caulfield.

She is by Reset by Zabeel, the second winner of her sire to have won over 2500 metres as Rebel Raider had won the Derby six years earlier.

Reset was never seriously tried as a stayer; he was unbeaten in his only five starts, but never tried beyond 1600 metres.

What staying powers Set Square possesses would be attributed her grand sire Zabeel, on the negative side her dam, Dynastar, did win seven races but no further than 1400 metres.

Furthermore, she is inbred to Zeditave, a brilliant sprinter with an impressive record, from 17 starts he won 14 races, his only win beyond 1200 metres was the 1400 metres of the Futurity Stakes.

8 D3S 6537 CustomSet Square ridden by Hugh Bowman

Ciaron Maher’s long range plan with Set Square is the 2015 Melbourne Cup, however, a lot of water will flow under the bridge before then.


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