Two last-start winners will spearhead trainer Ciaron Maher’s assault on Flemington Finals Day.
Maher will have runners in four of the nine races on Saturday with three-year-old filly Ruby Sea favourite to notch her third-straight win of the campaign in the Rivette Series Final (1600m) while Schism is also favourite for the Leilani Series Final (1400m).
Lightly raced Ruby Sea resumed from a spell with a maiden win at Cranbourne in May before powering clear of her rivals in a heat of the Rivette Series in a 1600m benchmark-64 for fillies at Sandown on June 14.
“She’s in great order,” Maher said.
“She’s very progressive and the mile is ideal.
“This is a nice progression with nice timing between runs.”
Schism began her career in Adelaide with Richard Jolly and has had seven starts since joining the Maher stable, netting three wins and two seconds.
While Maher’s main base is at Caulfield in Melbourne, Schism is stabled at Warrnambool where Maher believes the country environment suits her better
“She’s a mare and she’s been in that stable environment at city tracks over in Adelaide,” Maher said.
“When we first got her we thought we’d change it up for her and it really worked.”
Maher said the key for Schism was to get cover as she did last start under Beau Mertens when she won a 1400m benchmark-90 for mares at Flemington.
“She’s had a good consistent preparation,” Maher said.
“She was racing well in Adelaide earlier in her preparation then just overdid it a bit at Flemington two starts ago in front. She went back there and got a nice bit of cover last start and that was the difference.
“Again down in the weights, this looks a lovely progression for her.”
Maher also has Duke Of Ellington in the VRC-CRV Cup Tour Trophy (2000m) and two-year-old Panda Wantzoff entered in the Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m).
“The filly (Ruby Sea) and the mare (Schism) are probably our two best chances,” he said.