Last Updated on 27 December 2023
David Eustace and Ciaron Maher, the trainers who won the 2022 Melbourne Cup with Gold Trip, have announced they will part ways in 2024. Eustace will leave the Ciaron Maher (CMR) stable to work in Hong Kong.
One of Australia’s most popular horse training partnerships started in 2018 and the pair won 40 events together, clinching four consecutive Victorian Trainers Championships and a National Trainers Championship in the process.
Impossible to Replace
Maher said the announcement made on Thursday was “bittersweet.” He explained it was bitter because it was impossible to replace David, but also sweet, as it was a “fitting reward” for David, providing CMR with a great opportunity to evolve and develop.
Maher praised Eustace for being with him from the early days of the stable and giving his best through thick and thin. Eustace arrived in Australia in 2014 and joined CMR as a co-trainer in mid-2016, bringing a unique set of skills to the stable, something Maher thinks will take a lot of work to replace.
He added that becoming champion trainers of Australia would only be possible with Eustace and that his new Hong Kong job post was recognition for everything he had done so far in his career. Despite the trainer moving to Hong Kong, Maher was confident their relationship would continue.
Dreamt About Working in Hong Kong as a Boy
Eustace thanked CMR and Maher for providing him with the opportunity to “grow into a highly-regarded trainer” and win some of the biggest races in Victoria and NSW. The 2022 Melbourne Cup winner said he was delighted to have the chance to work in Hong Kong, as that has been his dream since he was a child.
For the challenge of going against some of the best individuals in the horse racing world, Eustace said he would relish it, but would miss the “extraordinary operation” in Australia and would be “forever grateful” to his soon-to-be former partner for showing him the importance of analytics and data in horse racing.
Eustace will follow in the footsteps of Annabel Neasham who won various Group 1 events and was also working with Maher before deciding to continue her operations elsewhere.