Regina Coeli Comes From Legendary Stayer Lines to Win Grand Annual
Ciaron Maher, who divides his time between Warrnambool and Caulfield, was the trainer behind Regina Coeli, winner of the 2017 Grand National Steeplechase, has a far different perspective to preparing stayers for the rigours of jumping races than he does for thoroughbreds meant for the flat tracks.
The primary difference is that even in the most exceptional cases, flat track racers are essentially done by the age of eight and in most instances, sooner than that. Horses are trained over a period of months for a specific campaign. In the upper echelons of racing, a runner may have four starts in the spring and four in the autumn, less in some cases.
Jumps horses, on the other hand, need years of proper training in order to be successful in the steeplechase code.
Maher and his connection, owner Colin McKenna, have the long-term perspective where jumps horses are concerned. McKenna bought Regina Coeli’s dam Alstomeria, when she was 28 years of age and in a family way.
Regina Coeli was the foal produced from that sale, borne in 2008.
If ancestry is any indicator, she had the two time-time Brierly Steeplechase winner Al Garhood for a brother. His line also includes New Zealand stayer Zabeel. He won at the age of nine and 10, when most gallopers are contentedly munching feed in some pastoral retirement home setting.