Maher Confirms Mr O’Ceirin for 2014 Grafton Cup

July 2nd, 2014

Unable to handle the late pace and finishing a disappointing ninth in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) on the Sunshine Coast last weekend, trainer Ciaron Maher has confirmed it’s all systems go for Mr O’Ceirin ahead of the 2014 Grafton Cup (2350m) on July 10th.

Trainer Ciaron Maher has confirmed Mr O'Ceirin for a defence of his 2013 Grafton Cup triumph

Trainer Ciaron Maher has confirmed Mr O'Ceirin for a defence of his 2013 Grafton Cup triumph. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Jumping as resounding pre-post favourite in the Caloundra Cup, Mr O’Ceirin took the lead rounding onto the final straight but was unable to maintain anything of a sprint; comfortably outpaced by nearly the entire field; Brayroan securing an impressive victory from Brave Ali and Zennista.

Largely consistent and competitive over his six races this time in, Mr O’Ceirin has been unlucky not to secure a race win, having finished second in two major Group 2 races.

Nominated for the Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) at Eagle Farm this weekend, Maher said conditions, distance and likely fields mean the Postponed gelding will not appear on course this weekend and will head into the Grafton Cup on the back of a fortnight without racing.

“It looks pretty dry and it might be a chance of rain as we get closer to Grafton,” Maher told AAP.

Claiming an impressive total of 10 wins and six minor places from 34 competitive race starts to date, Mr O’Ceirin was a standout performer over the winter and spring of 2013; winning the Printhouse Graphics Handicap (2040m) before comfortably claiming last year’s edition of the Grafton Cup.

Continuing to build in form and class, the gelding out of Cadell was unlucky to finish second to Grafton Cup winner Ibicenco in the Listed Slickpix Stakes (1700m) before returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) most notably.

Disappointing when eleventh in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) first-up this season, Mr O’Ceirin more than stamped his claims as one to watch over the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival when finishing second to Group 1 champion mare Streama in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on May 3rd before finishing an unlucky seventh when blocked for a run in the Group 1 Doomben Cup.

Finishing second in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) on May 31st, Mr O’Ceirin successfully backed up in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) just one week later, running on from the rear of the field to finish a fighting fifth amongst classy company.

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