Right You Are will look to its fairy tale return to racing when the six-year-old gelding runs in the Australian Cup on Saturday at Flemington.
The talented gelding had his career put on hold after suffering an injury that put him out of action for more than a year shortly after joining the highly decorated Maher and Eustace stable.
The gelding qualified for the Cup after beating a classified at Flemington last Saturday, the field in which he beat home by 1.25 lengths included the likes of Melbourne Cup stalwarts Vow and Declare and Emissary as well as promising Perth sprinter Merocchino.
His more than earned his spot in the Group One race having won his last five races, four of which with jockey Ethan Brown aboard and the Australian Cup qualifier having Melbourne Cup winning hoop Mark Zahra on his back.
Jockey Ben Allen will be in the saddle come Saturday’s ride, with the gelding one of the best backed runners in the race at $8, only being headed in the market by Nonconformist and Cascadian ($6) and Mounga ($8).
The Australian Cup offers three million dollars in prize money, trainer of the gelding Ciaron Maher believes the gelding will run a terrific race.
“I never thought at the start of the prep that he would be lining up in an Australian Cup,” Maher, who trains Right You Are in partnership with David Eustace, said.
“He’s got a super record and the owners are being repaid for their patience.
“He had a couple of years off for an injury so they can dare to dream now.
“A couple of times when he hit the front earlier in the prep, he would have a look around and looked like he could throw a race away,” Maher said.
“He’s turned it around.
“He’s grown in confidence and it’s the right time to take on a good race.”
“Up to the 2000(m) will be ideal and she’s run well at Flemington as well,” Maher said.
The Times also spoke to Steve Merriman, owner and breeder of Right You Are, before the big Australian Cup on Saturday.
“We bred him out at Ravensworth. My son, Matt, and my wife, Jude, and I bred him and raised him until he was two years old.
“We did all the work on him, taught him to lead and handled him, when he was ready to go off, we sold some shares in him.
“Then he went into work and broke down after about a year as a racehorse, he had an injury and a couple of years off, and he’s come back better than ever,” Steve said.
“His recent form is great. He’s won five straight, he’s going well. He’s second favourite for the Australian Cup on Saturday at Flemington, which is a Group 1. We’ll be going down to watch him.
“We sold some shares in him to some friends, including the Abbey’s, and a third to Darren Weir who used to train him. We kept the majority of shares in him, and he’s been going well, it’s been goof fun.
“I’ve got his full-sister, she’s a foal, and his half-sister which we’re breeding from at the moment, so we’ve got his family there, it’s quite exciting.
“I think he’s got a very good chance to win on the weekend. Right You Are has had 21 starts and had 9 wins. He won the Victoria Gold Cup the race before last at Sandown, he was pretty impressive. It was the first Stakes race he’s won.”
Former Yass Valley Mayor Rowena Abbey has shares in Right You Are and spoke to The Times about the horse in the lead up to his biggest race on Saturday.
“It’s very exciting. The horse has worked hard to get this far and we obviously hopes he has success again on the weekend,” Rowena said.
“He’s earned his right to run in a big race by his very consistent performance over the last couple of years.
“No one’s ever confident that a horse will win because a lot happens on the day, but we’re confident he’ll give it his all at winning.”
Tim Warren, Tully Potts