Owners Phoenix Thoroughbreds enjoyed a first Group One success in Australia last Friday when the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Loving Gaby powered home to land the 6f A$1.015m Manikato Stakes under the lights at Moonee Valley. Eustace, son of Newmarket trainer James, celebrated a third top level triumph since joining the training ranks with Maher in July last year after Loving Gaby prevailed by three-quarters of a length over Vital Silver under Craig Williams. It was a first Group One win for Loving Gaby, who twice finished second in the highest company last season. Hot favourite, Godolphin’s Bivouac, could not handle the pace and never figured.
Eustace said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to be involved with these top level horses and I feel very lucky to be part of an amazing team. “Loving Gaby is very good and we’ve always had huge faith in her. She’s been knocking on the door at Group One level, so this means a lot. She’s versatile regarding trip but she’s not the easiest to train and requires a big team effort. “To have a big winner on a night like tonight during the Spring Carnival is very special. I’m sure my parents will be very proud at home and they’re always the first to text when we have a winner crossing the line.”