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Talented filly Loving Gaby continued her love affair with The Valley with a second Group 1 win there in the $500,000 Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes (1200m) on Friday night.

Loving Gaby, above, was the winner of the 2020 William Reid Stakes at The Valley. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Loving Gaby, above, was the winner of the 2020 William Reid Stakes at The Valley. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Loving Gaby claimed her first Group 1 win in the $1m Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley during the 2019 Melbourne Spring Carnival and another first class performance saw her score a dominant one and a quarter lengths win in the William Reid Stakes.

“She just seems to love The Valley,” co-trainer Ciaron Maher said.

Leading Melbourne jockey Craig Williams was aboard Loving Gaby for her Manikato Stakes win and stuck with the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained filly in the William Reid Stakes.

Maher said that he was glad that Williams had Loving Gaby ($5.50) in a forward position outside of the leader Bivouac ($2.10 favourite) in a nice rhythm and the filly responded in the straight to draw away for a second Group 1 win.

“I thought the key to this race was going to be the start and he (Craig Williams) had to be quite forceful with her to get her into the position and I think that was the difference,” Maher said.

“She looked to be travelling quite well and Bivouac started to fade on the corner, he’s a high quality horse Bivouac but it was her night tonight.”

Mark Zahra had settled Black Caviar Lightning winner Gytrash ($15) in the box seat behind the two leaders before running on to claim the runner’s up cheque while the James Cummings trained Bivouac held his own in the run to the line to finish third.

Maher will now turn his attention to The Championships at Randwick and prepare Loving Gaby for the Group 1 $2.5m T J Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 4.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.