The five-year partnership is to split up

Scott Mcglynn
Horse Racing Betting Tips
Horse Racing News
The five-year partnership is to split up

Hong Kong is calling for David Eustace, who will end his time with Ciaron Maher, to take on a new challenge.

News Insights

  • The Maher/Eustace partnership has lasted five years
  • 1600 winners as a partnership
  • 30 Group 1 winners together
  • They were the winners of the National Trainers Championship last season

There have not been many training partnerships that have succeeded as quickly as that of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace. It is a shame to see that end, but success in Hong Kong looks likely for Eustace in the short term.

For a man of 32, Eustace already has quite some resume. His father, James, held a license for a long time in Newmarket before passing that on to David's older brother, Harry. Docklands was a Royal Ascot winner for Harry earlier this year, so training success flows through the family.

After spending time in England for Roger Varian, Eustace moved to Australia and joined the Maher team in 2016, earning his way up to joint trainer in 2018. From that point on, it has been a string of winners, including a huge number at the sport's top level.

While the position as a trainer in the Hong Kong ranks will not start until next season, which begins in September in Hong Kong, Eustace will be packing his bags early in 2024 to lay down the groundwork in plenty of time to ensure that he and his new team hit the ground running.

Massive success in a short timespan

Ciaron Maher was already a successful trainer before David Eustace joined him, but it is fair to say that recent years have seen the stable move to a new level. The last four seasons have seen the team win the Victoria Trainers Championship, adding the National Trainers Championship to that last season.

The volume of winners in five years is huge, even when allowing for the fact that they have a massive volume of horses split across several yards. Thirty Group 1 winners in that timespan is a record that any stable would be proud of. 

Gold Trip

The most famous win the pair have masterminded together was in the 2022 Melbourne Cup when they sent out Gold Trip to salute. The seven-year-old has only won three of his 25 career starts, so he is clearly not the easiest to kid to the front, but to the credit of Eustace and Maher, two of those have been in Group 1 races. 

Gold Trip also won the Turnbull this season to add to the Group 2 he won when he was trained in France. Eustace and Maher can get him to perform at the perfect time, which is a testament to the skills of the Englishman as much as they are with Maher.

Hong Kong plans

Injecting youth into their training ranks is a long-term plan for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which currently has many trainers who have been around for a long time. While that experience means that it is some of the top racing anywhere on the planet, it lacks longevity and requires a new generation. 

A trainer cannot have more than 70 horses in Hong Kong, so it might be that this will end up being a little quieter for Eustace. Living on-site at the track, training there, and only having two tracks to race at will have things in a neat little package, which might allow him more free time even though Eustace will be in charge on his own

With ex-Australian horses making up a considerable chunk of the population in Hong Kong and with all runners trained at the track, it will make things an easy move for Eustace. There is a lack of travel, which some might find restricting, but the prize money can fund future plans. It looks like a smart move for all involved, and we wish David Eustace the best of luck.