Lighthouse takes out the G1 Coolmore Classic

Ciaron Maher has described Lighthouse as a dream to train after she delivered the leading horseman his first Group 1 Coolmore Classic at Rosehill.

The mare became the second American import to win the 1500m feature in the past three years, following the trail blazed by the Tulloch Lodge-trained Con Te Partiro, who won two years ago after also doing her early racing in the States.

“It might be a bit of a niche for this time of year, American dirt horses. They might handle the conditions a bit better,” Maher quipped.

Lighthouse is raced by the American-based Roth family under the LNJ Foxwoods banner, which has had an increasingly strong presence in the States over the past decade.

She is the first horse they have sent to Australia and judging by Saturday’s result, may not be their last.

“They race a lot of horses over there, the Foxwoods, and they thought they would send her out as a tester,” Maher said.

“They’ve got a lot of horses so I would say they’d be pretty keen to send a few more over.”

Lighthouse has had eight starts for Maher for five wins and three seconds and she will get another chance to add to that tally in next month’s Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.

The trainer said she had hit the ground running since coming to Australia and was a genuine racehorse.

“You look at all her runs, she runs on top of the ground, she runs last week-this week, second in the Orr (Stakes). She is just an honest, genuine horse,” Maher said.

“You can see the way she tries. She pins her ears flat when she goes. I don’t really have a bad thing to say about her.

“She has always been pretty consistent. She has been a bit of a dream really.”

Ridden by Jason Collett, Lighthouse ($5) scored by two lengths over Mirra Vision ($26), who nosed out Hinged ($9.50) for second, with favourite Espiona a disappointing eighth.

Espiona’s jockey Jay Ford said the filly was still doing too many things wrong.

“She didn’t jump again which proved very costly. We weren’t able to capitalise on the good draw,” Ford said.

“Obviously, we were well back. She did find the line OK. She just needs to iron out the kinks.”

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