Loving Gaby makes winning return at Valley

Loving Gaby (left) has pounced late to win the Group Three Scarborough Stakes at The Valley.

Exciting filly Loving Gaby has made an impressive spring return at The Valley, beating a quality field in the Group Three Scarborough Stakes.

After a busy first preparation during the autumn in which she contested four of the five Australian Group One races for two-year-olds, Loving Gaby had taken time to come to hand before making her return in Friday night’s 1200m-race against her own age and sex.

With Damian Lane aboard, Loving Gaby ($6) raced wide and rounded the field, beating Exhilarates by a long head with a short neck to Villami.

Loving Gaby is being aimed at the Group One Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) for fillies and mares on November 2 at Flemington.

Her co-trainer Ciaron Maher was full of praise for the filly who won the Group Three Chairman’s Stakes on debut at Caulfield in February before finishing sixth in the Blue Diamond, fourth in the Golden Slipper and second in both the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes.

“She was still a bit soft tonight but that’s what good horses do,” Maher said.

“To do what she did as a two-year-old in her first preparation, really they just don’t do that if they are not exceptional. I think she is.

“She has come to the races tonight against a pretty slick field. She’s not fully fit yet and had to do it the tough way having no favours in the run.

“They just seem to find that extra bit, the good horses.”

Maher and co-trainer David Eustace made the late call to run the filly in Friday night’s race after she galloped at The Valley on Monday morning with Lane aboard.

“Damian gave her the nod that he thought she would be pretty right to go and that she could get away with it, being a fraction underdone,” Maher said.

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