Naantali brilliant Flemington winner


Rip Van Winkle’s daughter Naantali has shown she’s not just a wet-track performer breaking through for her maiden city win on firm ground at Flemington.

The Ciaron Maher-trained three-year-old had previously won on dead and soft ground at Cranbourne and Geelong but had no problems adapting to the firm surface when successful in the VRC Recognition Handicap (1400m) on Saturday.

Ridden by Damian Lane, Naantali ($3.70) defeated Glayva ($9.50) by a length with Seductive Miss ($14) a long-head away third. “She had that won a long way out, she is a pretty classy filly” Lane said.

Maher’s assistant trainer Dave Eustace said the filly’s victories on wet ground had come around by circumstance rather than planning.

“We never felt she was a wet tracker, she is a lovely big scopey filly and Ciaron has always had a big opinion of her,” Eustace said.

“It was just coincidence that she’s won on ground with a bit of dig. “She’s a beautiful moving filly and we’ve always felt she’d handle quick ground.”

Eustace said there was no set target for the immediate future but the stable is hoping the filly can push on into the spring and pick up some black type for her pedigree page.

“That’s a really good win for (owner) Greg Perry,” Eustace said. “He’s a really good supporter of the stable, he’s a large breeder and she’s going to make into a lovely broodmare.”

Naantali a $180,000 purchase for trainer Ciaron Maher from  Windsor Park Stud's draft at the 2016 Karaka Premier sale.