Exciting Melbourne racemare Naantali (Rip Van Winkle) underlined her progression towards higher honours for the new training partnership of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace when scoring impressively at Moonee Valley yesterday.
Four-year-old Naantali took her record to four wins from eight starts and made it back-to-back city victories after winning at Flemington over 1400m two weeks earlier.
With Damian Lane aboard, Naantali, the $2.15 favourite, settled midfield before chiming in rounding the home turn and racing clear for a 1-1/4 length victory in the 1print Handicap over 1600m.
“She’s still quite raw and very progressive and I think she’s only going to get better,” Maher said.
Maher will keep building Naantali through the grades towards giving her the opportunity to snare some valuable black type at some stage this spring.
“But I’d say she’s going to be a nice mare in the autumn,” Maher said.
A daughter of Rip Van Winkle (Galileo) and the Zabeel mare Zaloot, Naantali was a $180,000 Karaka Premier Yearling Sale graduate from the draft of Windsor Park Stud.