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Maher Bullish About Merchant Navy
Ciaron Maher has provided the last word on boom Victorian colt Merchant Navy ahead of tomorrow's $1 million Gr1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens. Unbeaten in four career outings after resuming with a narrow but decisive win in the Gr3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on 2 September, Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock-Legally Bay, by Snippets) is third favourite for the Golden Rose at $8 with TAB behind Menari ($2) and Pariah ($6). "I'm pretty happy with Merchant Navy. His preparation has gone very smoothly and his work on Tuesday was sharp and he seems to have come through it nicely," Maher told Melbourne's Radio Sport National yesterday. "Hughie Bowman galloped him on the course proper on Tuesday and gave him a good report, so I think everything is pointing to him running right up to his best." Maher said he expected Merchant Navy to have no problems handling the clockwise direction, adding that Menari was the horse he feared most. "I brought him up to Sydney as a 2YO. He didn't actually race but he had the experience and I think that will hold him in good stead," Maher explained. "I think Menari is the horse to beat. He's been targeted at the race and he is a big, strong impressive 3YO."