“He’s not 100 per cent where his final destination is going to be.
“He goes through it like it is not there. He makes a soft 5 like it’s a good track.”
It is a similar place for Maher and Eustace to what Godolphin’s James Cummings found himself in 12 months ago when he had five runners and landed the quinella with Kiamichi and Microphone.
Cummings has had a tougher season but will have a Slipper runner after Thermosphere followed in the footsteps of Kiamichi by winning the Magic Night Stakes on Saturday.
“She has the right credentials and excellent temperament. We thought she had a little bit of ability last year but she has come along and kept improving and has the temperament to keep showing that,” Cummings said.
“Kiamichi won on the rain-affected ground seven days out last year. That proved to be vital on a day that was completely bottomless on Slipper day, which was a good day for Godolphin.”
Thermosphere was wound in from $301 to $26 after her victory, but Cummings will wait to see how she pulls up before committing to running in the Golden Slipper.
Maher believes he has the right horse for the seven-day back-up with Prague, which was $26 to $15 after his win.
“He’s a very relaxed colt, so racing certainly doesn’t hurt him,” he said.
“He has always shown plenty, and his work on Tuesday, he worked with an open-class horse and was eyeballing him.
“He is still quite progressive. There’s a bit more in the tank and I think the back-up will be ideal.”
Meanwhile, Golden Slipper contenders Mamaragan and Hungry Heart completed their preparations by having a gallop between races at Rosehill on Saturday.
Skyline Stakes winner Mamaragan picked up Dreamforce in the straight and ran 35.41 seconds for last 600m.
“He was just here to get a look at Rosehill and is ready to go for next week. We didn’t really ask him to do too much,” trainer John Thompson said.
Hungry Heart did a bit of sharp work and left jockey James McDonald smiling as she charged through the line running 34.45 seconds.
“If she goes any faster than that they won’t beat her in the Slipper,” McDonald said.
Racing writer for The Sydney Morning Herald