Fifth Group 1 winner for Emirates stalwart Al Maher

Joe Pride-trained Private Eye became the fifth individual Group 1 winner sired by Emirates Park stalwart Al Maher when winning the 2021 renewal of the $1.5 million, Group 1, TAB Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick in Sydney.

A 4-year-old gelding raced by an ownership group brought together by the Proven Thoroughbreds syndication company of Jamie Walters, Private Eye charged home from last position at the 400m mark to get up in a three-way photo-finish and take his record to eight wins and $1,446,460 in earnings from just 13 career starts.

Speaking after the win, Pride was generous with his praise for Private Eye after the gelding’s third Pattern Race success since May.

“I knew I had given him the right prep and I was confident in the horse,” Pride remarked. “You need luck in these Epsoms, they are hard to win, but it all panned out beautifully and he has got an engine this horse; he’s a ripper. When he won first-up he signaled to me that day he had come back bigger and better than ever.”

Pride added: “It is so good to get this big win for Jamie Walter, you would not meet a nicer person. He is just like his [late] brother Guy. Jamie is a gentleman — this is my biggest win for him.”

Private Eye is the second Group 1 Epsom Handicap winner sired by Al Maher. The Gai Waterhouse-trained Fat Al won the time honoured spring feature back in 2012. The Emirates Park-bred and sold Theseo, a son of former resident sire Danewin, was also a celebrated winner of the race in 2008.

Private Eye is one of 36 individual stakes winners sired by Al Maher, a stallion whose progeny earnings now exceed $52 million. Recent seasons have also seen the Group 1 racehorse and Group 1 progenitor emerge as a broodmare sire, his current runners in this capacity including the stakes winning 3-year-old filly Zouzarella (by Zoustar).

Al Maher is currently standing his 17th stud season. For the past few years the acclaimed son of Danehill (USA) has been standing at Stockwell Thoroughbreds at Diggers Rest in Victoria by arrangement with Emirates Park after standing the bulk of his career at our Murrurundi headquarters in the Upper Hunter Valley.

A division of the Nasser Abdulla Lootah Group