Griff causes boilover in Caulfield Guineas

Griff ridden by Ben Melham wins the Neds Caulfield Guineas at Caulfield Racecourse on October 14, 2023 in Caulfield, Australia. (Photo by Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Ciaron Maher & David Eustace have trained the winner of another Victorian Group 1 winner, with Griff (+3300) taking out the feature Group 1 Caulfield Guineas at Caulfield on Saturday afternoon.

Ben Melham took the reins for the Caulfield Guineas after Mark Zahra jumped off the son of Trapeze Artist to ride Scheelite (+1200), leaving Melham to ride the outsider in the feature.

With the speed map unclear, Melham took his colt to the lead from barrier 15 and allowed him to run along at a good speed, with Steparty (+270) and Veight (+1300) sitting right behind the leader sweating on runs.

Once the field rounded the home bend, Melham pushed the button on the leader and he gave a strong kick to put a length or two on Veight; however, Damian Lane still had a good hold on the eventual runner-up and he began to lengthen with 250m to go.

The Tony & Calvin McEvoy-trained galloper had a crack and got within a length of the winner and even though Griff started to wander and slightly inconvenienced Veight, Melham took hold of the winner and he held onto win by just over a length.

With Ciaron Maher in Sydney, David Eustace spoke on behalf of the stable post-race.

“It’s a great thrill and it’s great to win a race for Sean Griffiths,” Eustace said.

“He’s very, very new to game, this is his first year buying horses and he’s put a lot faith in us.

“It’s not easy to get a nice horse and to get a Guineas winner.

“They’re rare to come by and for him to own the horse 100 per cent, it’s fair enough again.

“He’s got a bright future the horse. He’s still furnishing, and Sean is going to think this is easy now, winning a Guineas in his first year.”

Ben Melham claimed his first Caulfield Guineas victory on Griff, and he spoke post-race.

“He began exceptionally well and the more I looked at the race the more I thought initially there was no speed and in group one races that kind of plays on people,” Melham said.

“Throughout the day, things can change and when he began in the manner that he did, he rolled across and got across so easily.

“He just lobbed along in a beautiful rhythm.

“I started to quicked up from the 500-600 (metre mark) and he spotted something on the inside of the track and nearly threw the race away.

“He did a right-turn on me.

“Very good, courageous effort by the horse and a great job by the stable.

“They kept him up a while and kept him winning. Here he is now a Caulfield Guineas winner.”

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