Grandslam on march to Australian Derby with Valley win

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The younger brother of one of Ciaron Maher’s favourite racehorses has repaid the faith the trainer has in the three-year-old with a stunning victory in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes at The Valley.

Grandslam is a brother to Caulfield Cup winner Jameka who was prepared by Maher and one that holds a special place in his stable.

In a change of tactics, Grandslam was taken to the front by Jamie Kah before racing to a six and a quarter length victory, providing Maher and co-trainer David Eustace a winning treble following earlier wins with Playoffs and Persan.

Grandslam (+850) defeated Victoria Derby placegetter Young Werther (+850) with Tasmanian Derby winner Explosive Jack (+1400) three-quarters-of-a-length away third.

Maher now hopes Grandslam can go one better than his older sister and take out the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 3.

“We were keen to get Jamie on just because he does have the tendency to overdo it,” Maher said.

“She rode him beautifully and it’s an almost similar ownership group to Jameka. I’m really excited and he’s enroute to the Derby now.

“She was second in it and hopefully he can go one better.”

Maher said bad barriers had led to Grandslam being ridden back in the field at his past two starts.

Kah, who holds a commanding lead in the Melbourne Jockeys’ Premiership, said she would not have any hesitation in taking the ride on Grandslam if given the opportunity in Sydney.

And Kah was happy to hear that Maher had called on a change of riding tactics for the colt.

“I thought that would really spark him up today,” Kah said.

“He’s a nice horse when he wants to put in and he’s probably not given his all at the last few starts.”

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