Loving Gaby takes William Reid glory

Craig Williams’ mount strikes at Moonee Valley.

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Loving Gaby ran out an impressive winner of the Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday.

Trained in partnership by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, the daughter of I Am Invincible was bidding for her second victory at Group One level, having landed the Manikato Stakes at the Melbourne circuit in October.

She had ground to make up on the James Cummings-trained and Godolphin-owned Bivouac, with the pair having finished first and second in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington a fortnight ago.

However, Loving Gaby emphatically reversed the form in the hands of Craig Williams, tracking Bivouac into the straight before kicking comfortably clear without being fully extended.

Newmarket Handicap third Gytrash finished well to fill the runner-up spot, with hot favourite Bivouac having to make do with the bronze medal on this occasion.

Maher told Racing.com: “Great job by the team. Phoenix Thoroughbred (owners) are a great supporter of the stable, it’s great to get another Group One and especially another Group One with her.

“She’s run so many placings and just seems to love the Valley. She was looking for the bend on her last start down the straight (at Flemington).

“Craig Williams has given her a brilliant ride. I thought the key to this race was the start – he had to be quite forceful with her to get her into a position and I think that was the difference.

“She looked to be travelling quite well and Bivouac started to fade on the corner. He’s a high quality horse, Bivouac, but it was her night tonight.”

Considering future targets, the trainer added: “The T J (Smith Stakes, at Randwick in April) has always been the plan. She loves racing and if she pulls up well, we’ll definitely look like that.

“A race like the Golden Eagle (at Rosehill in October) mightn’t be out of the question, given she’s already been to a mile – it might not be out of her reach.”

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