He fell for Jameka the moment he saw her and now Ciaron Maher believes the mare can win him the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double.
The favourite raced away to win Saturday’s $3 million Caulfield Cup and Maher is convinced she can repeat the feat in the 2016 Melbourne Cup.
“There’s no reason why she can’t,” Maher said after the biggest win of his career.
“She’s in great form. Why couldn’t she?
“This horse has been outstanding. She just seems to be getting better each preparation.
“She’s done that in her previous campaigns – every race she improves.”
Maher knew he had to have Jameka the moment he saw her, regardless of her pedigree or the $130,000 price tag.
“She’s exquisite the way she moves.
“I wasn’t concerned what she was by or out of. I just had to have her.
“Thankfully she’s now a Caulfield Cup winner.”
The “country battlers” who joined Maher as owners are equally enamoured.
Warrnambool businessman Colin McKenna had waited 15 years to celebrate a Group One win before Jameka and Maher won last November’s VRC Oaks.
Now he too is dreaming of a Melbourne Cup win, once the Caulfield Cup victory sinks in.
“How does it feel? Like nothing else in the world, other than probably my children being born and my grandchildren being born. It’s unbelievable.
“At the end of the day, if we get beaten we cop it. But she’s a good mare.
“How will she look on Tuesday fortnight?”
Jockey Nick Hall was also lost in the winning feeling after his second Caulfield Cup victory, although his victory salute well before the finish line cost him a $1000 fine.
After such a big win in his “backyard” at Caulfield, Maher is looking forward to ticking off more of his big race bucket list.
“It’s one of what I regard as the big three – the Caulfield, the Cox (Plate) and the Melbourne.
“We’ve ticked one off . We’ve got a couple more to go.”