http://www.news.com.au/sport/superracing/trainer-ciaron-maher-sets-sights-on-royal-ascot-next-year-with-stradbroke-handicap-winner-srikandi/story-fndpsbf9-1227400750275

THE boy from Warrnambool, his chomp-happy horse and the Queen would be the most unlikely trio. But Ciaron Maher is Royal Ascot dreaming with his Stradbroke Handicap-winning glamour mare Srikandi.

With the posh English Carnival kicking off this week, Victorian trainer Maher has revealed his blueprint to travel Srikandi to Royal Ascot next year and take on the best sprinters in the world.

Srikandi has already banked almost $2 million from her 12 starts.

“There are a few coins in the tin and she is already a Group 1 winner so I would love to take her to Royal Ascot,’’ Maher said.

“She does so well in Queensland that maybe even training her up here and then taking her over to England from here could be an option. Or she could run in the TJ Smith (at Randwick in April) and just roll into quarantine from there.

srikandi straddy 2

“Another option is Hong Kong. One of the owners suggested that to me and one of the big sprints over there could be an option for her later this year.’’

Srikandi’s immediate mission is winning back-to-back Group 1s when she heads to her favourite Gold Coast track and aims to win Saturday’s Tatts Tiara against a quality field of female rivals.

The Stradbroke winner pleased Maher when she had a spin around Doomben on Tuesday but was back to her old tricks when she bit handler Bianca Gilcrist (Maher’s partner) earlier this week.

Gilcrist has bite marks all over her body from Srikandi and another was added to the collection when the mare took a chomp out of her shoulder.

Maher says Srikandi has always been an aggressive mare but says her reputation as a stable attacker doesn’t concern him.

“A lot of good race mares are like that — Sunline’s strapper Claire Bird used to get an awful time from the mare who always bit and kicked her,’’ Maher said. “Srikandi probably overdid it a bit early in her preparation, but she is like that when she is really fit and strong.

“Last year she never really came into season but this season being a four-year-old mare we have had to keep an eye on her and she can get a bit hormonal.

“She is just an aggressive horse. But that’s who she is, she is the same in her stable box as she is on race day.’’

Srikandi heads to the Tiara with an unblemished record of two wins from two starts at the Gold Coast. She loves the wet so Maher is hoping the rain of the last couple of days continues to fall in southeast Queensland.