Ciaron Maher has been one of the beneficiaries of Peter Moody’s decision to quit training.
The up-and-coming trainer will take over some Caulfield stables used by Moody and he’s also take over several horses.
Moody last week shut down his stables after being suspended by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on a cobalt charge.
With 300 horses on his books, the immediate concern for Moody was the placement of almost 100 horses which were in work.
One of those was the lightly raced stayer Pemberley who will line up under Maher’s name in the $300,000 Mornington Cup on Saturday.
Victory in the 2400m race gives the winner automatic entry into the Caulfield Cup in the spring.
Pemberley was taken along slowly by Moody and will be lining up for his 12th start on Saturday.
After stringing together successive Flemington victories over 1800m and 2000m in January and February, Pemberley was a last-start third in the Stony Creek Cup on March 13 as an odds-on favourite when hampered by a leaders’ bias.
“I don’t think he really enjoyed, or he was suited, at his last start,” Maher said.
“I don’t really know the horse that well but from what the jockeys were saying it didn’t suit him that track and the way it raced that day.”
Maher has been on a learning curve with the son of Darci Brahma since the gelding entered his stable and as each day passes he gains a little more insight.
But he knows the gelding is a promising stayer who did post a good piece of work on Tuesday in preparation for Saturday’s race.
“I’m learning about him but he was sharp enough for a stayer and his fitness is good,” he said.
Pemberley is first emergency for Saturday’s race in the 18-horse field but has been made equal third favourite at $8 with Puccini in early markets.
Albury Cup winner Tom Melbourne is favourite at $2.30 with the Lloyd and Nick Williams-owned Observational second pick at $6.50.
Pemberley holds a nomination for the Sydney Cup at Randwick on April 9 and Maher said Saturday’s performance would determine whether he backs up into that race.