Leading trainer Ciaron Maher has unveiled plans to expand his presence in Sydney as he seeks to transition the operation from a satellite stable.
The Victorian-based horseman spent two weeks in a quarantine facility, which he exited on Friday, to oversee a changing of the guard in Sydney.
With Annabel Neasham recently leaving to train her own team, former Chris Waller racing manager Jack Bruce has been appointed to manage the local base for Maher and David Eustace.
But Maher has revealed that supervising the handover is not his only reason for coming to Sydney.
He and Eustace want to replicate the set-up they have in Victoria so their Sydney operation can stand as a stable in its own right and not just a satellite business.
Maher had hoped to initiate his expansion plans last year but they were put on the backburner when the opportunity arose to acquire the former Ballarat stables of banned trainer Darren Weir.
“That took a bit of organising but now that is all running smoothly so the focus is Sydney and expanding,” Maher said.
“I’ve always wanted to set it up as two individual stables, not a satellite stable, and that’s what we aim to do.”
Maher said they would look to mirror the set-up they have in Victoria, which includes pre-training facilities and farms, as well as increasing their stable numbers.
“I want to set up my own systems, farms, pre-training facilities and replicate what we have (in Victoria),” Maher said.
“On-course stabling is like hens’ teeth in Sydney, for whatever reason I’m not sure, but I will be looking to obtain some more boxes as well.”
Maher will also be out to make an impact at Rosehill on Saturday when he saddles up San Domenico Stakes (1100m) favourite Anders and Holyfield in the Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m).
The pair is among what is shaping to be an outstanding crop of three-year-olds and Anders has the form on the board thanks to a resounding first-up win in The Rosebud.
Maher was taken by that performance which he felt showed Anders was more than purely a speed horse.
“In the Rosebud, he surprised me how well he relaxed,” Maher said.
“It was great to see because he is naturally a very fast horse and it can be their undoing if they become one-dimensional, but he seems to be relaxing.
“He is very quick to begin, he’s got a very good cruising speed and a good turn of foot off that.
“He ticks a lot of boxes and he has really furnished both physically and mentally into his three-year-old year. He is very exciting.”