The extreme outside barrier wasn’t enough to stop Snapdancer providing jockey Ethan Brown his maiden Group 1 victory in the Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville on Saturday.
Spearing straight to the lead from the wide barrier, Brown rated Snapdancer to perfection before she booted clear to hold off stablemate Away Game and race favourite September Run in the $502,250 feature.
It was a brave ride only bettered by the brilliant training performance.
Snapdancer won the $1m Magic Millions Fillies and Mares feature over 1300m on the Gold Coast back in January before claiming the Group 3 Triscay Stakes at Randwick in Sydney.
The stable was able to bounce back from a disappointing last start failure down the Flemington straight to win the Sangster at her first run for 56 days.
“The team have done a great job with her, she’s been up a long time,’’ Maher said.
“I couldn’t make of what happened last start, track bias or whether she didn’t handle the straight.
“The main thing with her is the start. I said to Ethan if you get the start, the rest is easy,’’ he said.
Local mare Another Award added some serious value to her career post racing with a game effort in fourth place while the Maher and Eustace stable also produced Bella Nipotina who finished fifth.
For Brown, 23, it was a dream come true.
“I can’t really believe it,’’ Brown said.
“She jumped well, got a nice lead. I can’t explain the feeling (in the straight), I’ve been in that situation a few times and got run down, but the feel she was giving me, I was confident.
“I moved out of home when I was 15, it’s been a lifelong dream and to get it at such a young age is surreal,’’ he said.
MEANWHILE local sprinter Free Of Debt out his hand up for a tilt at the Group 1 Goodwood winning the Group 3 McKay Stakes with Dom Tourneur in the saddle, while Victorian filly Seradess continued her affinity with Morphettville winning the Group 2 Tobin Bronze Stakes.
A winner of the Cinderella Stakes in her two-year-old season, Seradess was perfectly ridden by Craig Williams dominating on speed before safely holding rivals in the run to the line to score a 2.8 length win.