Ad Dunbelievin' prior to the running of the Stow Storage Autumn Classic at Caulfield Racecourse. Photo by Scott Barbour/Racing Photos

Time to start Believin’ in St Leger

24 April 2024 Written by Racing & Sports

Ciaron Maher will chase a second VRC St Leger success when he saddles Dunbelievin’ at Flemington on ANZAC Day Race Day.

The Ciaron Maher stable is expecting a step up in distance and the addition of blinkers to be the recipe of success for Dunbelievin' at Flemington

The 2800m of the Listed VRC St Leger on Thursday is what the stable believes Dunbelievin' is looking for. 

Maher's assistant trainer Jack Turnbull, who runs the Cranbourne stable, concedes Dunbelievin' is racing below his best but also believes the gelding is an out-and-out stayer. 

Dunbelievin' started his career in Sydney and won a maiden at Wyong before making his way down to Melbourne, finishing third over 1800m at Caulfield on February 3. 

He was then stepped up to the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) finishing last, again at Caulfield, before returning to Sydney to run in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill, again finishing down the track. 

Turnbull said following the Tulloch Stakes, the St Leger came on the radar. 

"Off the back of the Tulloch Stakes we looked at this race," Turnbull said. 

"He's just a genuine stayer and while form suggests that he is not going that good, we believe he's a proper stayer and wants a trip which is rare in Australia. 

"We're taking him on trust now that he's out beyond 2400 metres as he hasn't raced beyond 2000 metres, and we've put the blinkers back on. 

"He's there to be an improved performer." 

Maher is chasing a second win in the St Leger having won with Through Irish Eyes in 2021 when in a training partnership with David Eustace. 

Since returning from a failed assignment in the Tulloch Stakes in Sydney, Dunbelievin' has been based at Cranbourne and has worked on the heavy sand track and also had a jump-out over 1400m on April 15, finishing just behind the placegetters. 

The gelding has also had some schooling in a bid to sharpen him up. 

"We trialled him at Cranbourne last week. He had a nice stayer's maintenance trial and had some schooling, so he's good to go," Turnbull said.