The victory of Ruby Sea at a midweek winter meeting at Sandown may not make the season highlight reel for Ciaron Maher but it did bring up a milestone for the trainer.
The filly won the Chandler Macleod Handicap (1600m) on Wednesday giving Maher his 100th winner for the season.
He has also had success with two-year-olds and last month collected Australia’s most gruelling race, Warrnambool’s Grand Annual Steeplechase with Regina Coeli.
But also hanging over Maher’s head are charges regarding the ownership bona-fides of Azkadellia and four other horses in his stable.
However Maher’s on-track performances cannot be denied and assistant trainer David Eustace said the success is based on his individuality with his horses.
“Ciaron’s had to make the jump from boutique trainer to a big team,” Eustace said.
“I think what he’s managed to maintain is individuality with all the horses regardless of how big he’s got.
“It’s probably a term that is reeled out too often but he trains them how they need to be trained, not how he wants to train every horse.”
Eustace said success this season comes down to the efforts of high quality staff.
“It helps to have the horses in the yard and the owners to support you, but you’re never as good as the staff you have around,” he said.
In his caretaker role in charge of the Matt Cumani stable, Simon Morrish has led in Shakopee as the winner of the Ladbrokes Odds Boost Handicap.
The UK import was having his fourth start in Australia and Morrish praised the ride by Brad Rawiller.
Morrish said he had to thank Cumani for entrusting the stable to his care while Cumani is sidelined through suspension.
“He’s got some lovely horses and we’re getting some results which is great for Matt’s business moving forward,” Morrish said.
A double on Wednesday for Craig Williams on Lord Tennyson and Yogi has him level with Beau Mertens in the hunt for Melbourne jockeys’ premiership honours.