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Image: Darren Winningham
Ciaron Maher is already thinking of the winter with Etana after she won the Magic Millions Quality

It’s the middle of summer but co-trainer Ciaron Maher is already thinking of the winter with Etana after she won the Magic Millions Quality.

Etana ($3.90), bounced back from a costly defeat at the Gold Coast a week earlier when she defeated Reckless Choice, the $3.50 favourite, by 2-1/2 lengths, with Testashadow ($10) a short neck away third.

Maher and his training partner David Eustace enjoyed immense success at last year’s winter carnival with Kenedna and is keen to target black-type races with Etana this year.

“She really thrives when she gets to Queensland. I’m reluctant to take her home, she likes it that much,” Maher said.

“She takes awhile to hit form so I’ll see what else is around. She likely have another run but we’ll target some better races with her in the winter carnival.”

Maher was prepared to forgive the mare’s defeat in The Wave (1800m) at the Gold Coast last week when she finished fifth as favourite to A Man To Match.

“She didn’t get the nicest run last week but things panned out much better for her today,” he said.

“Luke controlled the race from when he wanted to roll into the race and put the pressure on.”

Currie had travelling Etana comfortably before the mare loomed up ominously on the home turn.

“It got a bit messy last week but today things worked out perfectly,” Currie said.

“They went at a good clip, I was able to get to the outside and she was far too good for them.”

Currie also detected an improvement in the mare’s demeanour on Saturday, compared to her previous run.

“She was nice and kind on the way to the start and I felt she paraded really well so I was pretty confident when she walked into the gates.”

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