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Europe an option for star stayer Jameka

Caulfield Cup winner Jameka could fulfil another ambition for trainer Ciaron Maher who has flagged a European campaign for the mare later this year.

Jameka makes her 2017 return in Saturday’s Group One C F Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield which has attracted a field of 12 including nine individual Group One winners.

The four-year-old’s main target this campaign is next month’s Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington while Maher said races in England and France were legitimate options later in the year.

“It all depends on how she comes up,” Maher said.

“She’s in great order now. If her form reflects how she’s come up and she’s racing really well, well it’s an option for her.

“The owners and connections raced her through the spring in Melbourne last year. She had great success and they race a few horses. If she’s good enough to go overseas, well why not?”

Maher is yet to have an international runner but it is an ambition.

“We’ve always wanted to travel horses,” he said.

“Whether it’s her or another one, I’m sure we’ll get there.

“But she’s a quality horse and I think at a mile and a half (2400m) she’s got that quality needed to race in those better races.”

Maher said the overseas options for Jameka included the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2414m) at Royal Ascot in July and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly at the start of October.

He said the Hong Kong Vase (2400m) in December was also an option if Jameka stayed in Australia to campaign during spring.

Jameka has carried some residual fitness from the spring and Maher believes she has come up as well as last campaign.

“She’s really athletic so you don’t have to do a lot with her,” he said.

“Her weight is good and her work on Tuesday was sharp on the course proper.

“I think she has come up great.”

Maher has given her one jump-out leading into the Orr compared to two last campaign when she finished a close-up fourth first-up in the P B Lawrence Stakes (1400m).

The mare hasn’t won in four first-up starts but has not finished further back than fourth.

“The idea is to peak her for the Australian Cup,” Maher said.

“Whatever she does on Saturday is a bonus but she was looking for somewhere to go first-up last time over 1400 metres, so if she got back and got a clear run I’m sure she would run a race.”

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