The training partnership of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace has the potential to end the spring with a bang on their new home track.
The Caulfield/Ballarat stable warmed up for listed $500,000 Sportsbet Ballarat Cup with their biggest day of the spring to date at Sandown on Saturday.
They saluted with import Southern France in the group 2 $300,000 ZippingClassic, 2400m, and durable Azuro in the listed $150,000 Sandown Cup, 3200m.
Maher and Eustace are in their first year with a Ballarat arm to their expansive training regime, having taken over the Forest Lodge from the banned Darren Weir, and victory in Saturday's Ballarat Cup would have a special meaning for the stable.
Dr Drill is set to be their main chance in the 2000m event.
Maher has had his eye on the Ballarat Cup with the imported five-year-old since winning the $400,000 Cranbourne Cup, 2025m, on October 14 and has not have him to races since.
Maher has focused on racing Dr Drill fresh from the time he took over preparation early in the year, not racing him more than twice before giving him a short break.
It has worked a treat. Dr Drill has four wins and four seconds from 10 starts for Maher/Eustace.
Nominations for Ballarat Turf Club's 10-race Cup Day program close on Monday at noon, with weights to be declared by 4pm.
The meeting this year carries $1.8m in stakes - a record for regional Victoria after a $620,000 or 52 per cent increase this year.