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Trainer Ciaron Maher was thrust into the Melbourne Cup carnival spotlight when $101 bolter Tears I Cry won the 2007 Group One Emirates Stakes.

Fast forward seven years and Maher is hoping to play a starring role on Derby Day at Flemington with Light Up Manhattan to tackle Saturday’s $1.5 million Classic.

Maher also has Marksmanship chasing a Melbourne Cup berth in the Lexus Stakes and talented filly Azadellia is favourite for the Group Three Carbine Club Stakes.

Light Up Manhattan is a $21 chance in the Derby after his last-start fourth in the Caulfield Classic over 2000m.

“He has been targeted at this race this whole campaign with the aim of peaking him this week,” Maher said.

“If you look at his form it’s been on a gradual rise, hopefully culminating in his best performance on Saturday.

“His work has sort of gone that way and I think he’s going to be in the race as good as he can be and hopefully that’s good enough.”

Maher believes the 2500m will not be a problem for Light Up Manhattan who will be ridden by Mark Zahra.

 
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