Wil John Makes A Statement

Wil John
Wil John wins the Cally Hotel Maiden Hurdle at Warrnambool. (Alice Miles/Racing Photos)

Outside of Flying Agent’s win in the Brierly Steeplechase, the story of the jumps racing on Day 1 of the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival was Wil John.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Reset gelding was a dominant winner in the maiden hurdle in race two. He put eight lengths on his closest rival Annunciate, and on his jumps debut, put the writing on the wall for bigger things to come especially with a run in the Grand Annual on the agenda in 12 months time.

“He’s got a big future, especially steeplechasing, he’s a big unit and I think he’ll eat up fences later on,” winning jockey Steven Pateman stated.

Part-owner and breeder Colin McKenna has the same line of thinking as his successful jockey.

“He’s run third in the Jericho and next year the Grand Annual is the target, he’s a homebred and he’s named after our grandson and we just love him,” McKenna said.

Co-trainer Maher put his next major races on the agenda with a return in the Jericho Cup planned, as well as a crack at next year’s Grand Annual.

Maher did not have to wait long for another runner to pop up with big plans for the next 12 months, when Mawaany Machine took out the third event.

It was Mawaany Machine’s first start over the jumps for Australian Bloodstock, with his trainer quickly putting the 2022 Galleywood Hurdle on his future targets list.

Ciaron Maher has long been a staple of the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival, in particular the jumps races and will saddle up Saunter Boy for Australian Bloodstock in Wednesday’s Galleywood Hurdle.

Whilst it is expected that Bit Of A Lad will back up for the Grand Annual on Thursday joining stablemate Yensir as Maher’s chances to go back-to-back in the Grand Annual following Ablaze’s win in the race last year.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments