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Up-and-coming gelding earns Stayer’s Cup start

Naval Commission will rise in class and distance as he chases a fourth successive win.

Trainer : CIARON MAHER.
Trainer : CIARON MAHER. Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

He doesn't have a pedigree for stamina, but Naval Commission is showing all the hallmarks of a promising distance horse as he prepares for his first test in Saturday metropolitan grade.

Trainer Ciaron Maher, who is particularly renowned for his skill with stayers, says that despite being by Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes and Diamond Jubilee winner Merchant Navy out of a sprinting mare, Naval Commission isn't built for speed.

"If you see him and his demeanour, there's nothing 'sprinter' about him," Maher said.

"It's more his demeanour and his action. There's not a lot of 'fast twitch' about him, so I thought our only option was to stretch him out.

"He's racing in great heart and he is going through the grades."

After finishing runner-up on resumption at Goulburn in March, Naval Commission has strung together a hat-trick of wins.

He kicked off his streak over 1700m at Scone before adding midweek victories over 1800m and 2200m at Kensington and Warwick Farm respectively.

He drops seven kilos on his last-start win to 52kg for Saturday's Stayer's Cup (2400m) at Rosehill and Maher says the four-year-old has continued to hold his form, albeit he believes the horse will be better again next season.

"He's thriving actually," Maher said.

"He is still a big, raw horse and he is going to furnish again. Whatever he does now, you'd think he will only be better next year."

Following the loss of last Saturday's Randwick meeting, Rosehill will host a bumper 11-race card and seven of the events have attracted 18 or more acceptors.

Naval Commission will be among a team of 10 runners for Maher, who also has strong representation interstate, while Chris Waller is likewise set to figure prominently at Rosehill with 28 runners across the 11 races, including a quartet in the Listed McKell Cup (2000m) headed by $4 second favourite Waterford.