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Australian Racing: Maher has triple Oakleigh Plate chance

Ciaron Maher will rely on three mares in his attempt to win a first Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield on Saturday, the middle leg of the Group 1 sprinting events during the Melbourne autumn racing carnival.

Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, will saddle Marabi, who is 6/4 to win, in the Group 1 contest over 1100 metres with Bella Nipotina, a 25/1 chance and Away Game, who is 33/1, also set to chase the $750,000 prize-money on offer.

Marabi impressed at Moonee Valley

Marabi heads into the race off the back of a win in the Group 2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley last month.

Bella Nipotina has made the frame in Group 1 company on each of her last two starts, most recently when third in the Sprint Classic back in November, while Away Game has failed to score in each of her last six outings.

'Ticking along well'

"Those three mares are ticking along well. I couldn't be happier with all of them," Maher said.

"Marabi is in super order, Bella, I think she is coming up beautifully and Away Game has been freshened up for it. She seems to really hit the ground running fresh."

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Generation is another option for Maher, but he said if the three-year-old runs at Caulfield it would most likely be against his own age group in the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes over 1200 metres.

"Generation might go the Zeditave, I'm not sure," the trainer added.

Favourites have a poor recent record in the Oakleigh Plate with Lankan Rupee in 2014 and Russian Revolution in 2018 the only ones to salute since Weekend Hussler triumphed back in 2008.

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