Training partners Ciaron Maher and David Eustace have hit the board running and are set for their most successful Warrnambool Three-Day Carnival after a training treble on the opening day.
Three winners back-to-back on Tuesday, two over jumps, have the pair in sight of their record of five winners over the carnival.
Unfortunately for the pair, they had to play second fiddle with Bit Of A Lad in the day's feature, the Brierly Steeplechase, when runner-up to Flying Agent.
The pair's third winner, Bubbly Lass, brought up an important milestone for the stable — their 200th winner for the season.
The stable's run began in the second maiden hurdle with Wil John ($3.60 fav), before Mawaany Machine ($1.75 fav) scored in the third maiden hurdle.
Bubbly Lass ($2.35 fav) brought up the treble, winning Race 4, a maiden.
“It's a credit to the team to get that amount of winners for the season,” Maher said. “I'm certainly very proud of them and what better place to do it than here at the 'Bool.”
Maher grew up in Warrnambool and feels the pressure each year he returns ‘home’ for the Carnival.
"There's always a bit of pressure, especially off [owner and local businessman] Col McKenna,” Maher said. “I've been to some carnivals where I haven't trained a winner for him and there were a few expletives then.
“This time we've started the right way.”
With 200 winners for the season, Maher and Eustace are 56 winners behind Chris Waller on the National Trainers' Premiership.
Last season, Maher and Eustace finished on 271 wins with earnings of just over $18 million, while their 200 wins this season have already returned close to $19 million.