Ad Berkshire Breeze (IRE) ridden by Ethan Brown wins the Banjo Paterson Series Final. Photo by Reg Ryan/Racing Photos

Berkshire Breezes up in Banjo Paterson Final

6 July 2024 Written by Racing & Sports

Imported stayer Berkshire Breeze has quickly established a liking for Flemington and Ciaron Maher is hoping it is an affinity that extends until later in the year.

The grey gelding made it two wins from as many starts at Australia's most famous racecourse when he spaced his rivals as a $1.30 favourite in Saturday's $150,000 Banjo Paterson Series Final (2600m).

It made it three wins from four starts this campaign and affirmed his status as one of the country's most promising stayers and Maher is happy to see him comfortable at the venue that hosts the Melbourne Cup.

"It's not a bad place to get familiar with," Maher said.

"He's a big, free-striding galloping horse, he relaxes well and I'd say any track would suit him, but thankfully he likes Flemington, so we can dare to dream."

Much like his June 22 win, the son of Mastercraftsman gave Ethan Brown an easy ride before scooting clear of his rivals in the straight under little urging to score by exactly the same margin – 4-3/4 lengths.

Second was Taramansour ($6.50) with Aberfeldie Boy ($10) running an improved race for third, albeit 6-1/4 lengths off Berkshire Breeze.

Now a winer of five of 15 starts, Berkshire Breeze was promoted to second favouritism in some Melbourne Cup markets – behind another imported Maher stayer, Circle Of Fire – and Australia's leading trainer said attention now turned to getting him into the $8 million race.

"His plan is on track so far. The plan is to get him into The Bart Cummings or The Archer to get him to qualify," Maher said.

"But he had to win a couple to get his rating up to even get in races like that.

"He's obviously fit, very well and his confidence is up after a couple of wins like he's had."

The Archer and The Bart Cummings, both 2500m Group 3 races, carry Melbourne Cup ballot exemptions and will be run at Flemington on September 14 and October 5 respectively.