Coolangatta survives in Moir Stakes

Coolangatta has led throughout to claim the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley.

Ciaron Maher and David Eustace have proven the doubters wrong with Coolangatta holding on to claim the Group 1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley

Lining up for just her sixth start in Friday night's 5 f dash, Coolangatta was tackling the Moonee Valley lights for the first time along with more seasoned, older sprinters. 

But Coolangatta took full use of her weight advantage getting a minimum of 14lbs from the nearest horse in the weights. 

Ridden by Jamie Kah, Coolangatta ($6.50) scored by a head from stablemate Bella Nipotina $19) with Zoustyle ($13) a further 1-¼ lengths away third. 

After campaigning in NSW and Queensland in her two-year-old year, Coolangatta made her Melbourne debut finishing third in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 3. 

Maher said after Coolangatta held off her stablemate Bella Nipotina that there was some questioning the stable's wisdom of running the three-year-old filly in Group 1 company. 

"I was very confident in the horse and knew the way she pulled up the other day, I knew she had a tough run but she pulled-up very well," Maher said. 

"She was very fit going into it. 

"It was a super ride by Jamie. There are not too many jockeys that can ride 50 (kg) and ride as well as her at any weight. 

"I thought she'd be sitting behind one, but she took the initiative, she took the luck out of the race." 

Maher said the stablemates would likely meet again in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on October 21. 

He said the 6 f would benefit Bella Nipotina while he does not see any reason why the winner could not extend out in trip. 

"There's not much she can't do. I'm sure Jamie would like to ride her again," Maher said. 

"We'll see how she pulls but it's a big tick and if she did nothing else this prep, she's a maturing filly and it was a big effort and a great thrill." 

Kah said getting down to 110lbs to ride Coolangatta was well worth the effort while it also broke a losing run at Group 1 level for the jockey. 

She said Group 1 races are difficult to win, but when riding horses for Maher and Eustace you know they are turned out very fit. 

"This is all I wanted to it is what got me through," Kah said. 

"I wanted to come back and ride a Group 1 winner. They're hard to win. 

"I've been on some nice youngsters lately and just (needed to have) luck come my way. 

"I'm beyond happy."

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