Greece is the word after impressive Rosehill trial win

Ciaron Maher
Greece’s co-trainer Ciaron Maher (Racing Photos)

Ciaron Maher & David Eustace may already train the favourite for this year’s Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m), but the stable had another reason to smile at this morning’s Rosehill trials as Greece won her 1030m heat.

The daughter of I Am Invincible is a full-sister to Group 1 winner Loving Gaby, so connections certainly paid the price at the yearling sales, going to $1.2 million for the filly.

Greece stepped out for her second barrier trial this morning and once again proved all too good under James McDonald, winning the heat by over three lengths.

While it may have only been a barrier trial, online bookmakers took notice and wound the filly into $15 for the $5 million Golden Slipper, which will be run at Rosehill Gardens on March 19.

With less than a month until the Group 1 feature and a debut race yet to be run, Maher admits that “there is a lot of water to go under the bridge”.

“She’s going the right way,” the horse’s co-trainer told

“I haven’t spoken to James yet, but to the eye, it looked impressive.

“She holds a (Golden Slipper) nom, but she has to do a lot of things right before she gets to the Slipper.

“She has to win a race first so on Saturday week, if she gets a run in the Reisling (Stakes), that’s where she will kick off, all going well, but there is a lot of water to go under the bridge.”

Being a full-sister to Loving Gaby, Greece comes with plenty of expectations attached, and Maher believes the two-year-old boasts a lot of similarities to her $2.2m-earning sibling.

“She’s strong like her and has a similar body shape,” he said.

“She’s of a similar cut and hopefully as good.”

The stable have got a very strong hand in the Golden Slipper, with unbeaten Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Coolangatta yet to step out since her win on the Gold Coast in January.

Coolangatta’s supporters will see the undefeated filly on Saturday at Royal Randwick when she contests the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m).

“She had a gallop on Saturday and she worked well,” Maher said.

“She’s a nice horse who has done nothing wrong, so time will tell.”

Currently a $1.90 favourite for the Sweet Embrace, Coolangatta will likely line up against the likes of Inglis Millennium winner Xtravagant Star ($6) and the Annabel Neasham-trained Lady Laguna ($7).

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