He’s a man now: Light Infantry gets name change for King Charles III Stakes

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Ciaron Maher hopes the alteration to the name of Light Infantry to Light Infantry Man will be matched by the addition of a group 1 win in the King Charles III Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.

The Fast Company five-year-old was bought from Europe last year to be a world traveller and has taken his owners to the sport’s biggest meetings, which will soon include The Everest.

Light Infantry (before the name change) kicks his heels and enjoys a roll at Canterbury last year.Credit: Janie Barrett

Maher was impressed by the horse when he arrived in Australia, but less pleased when told Light Infantry would have to be renamed after it was discovered another horse already had the name.

“I know Light Infantry; I’m not too sure about this Light Infantry Man,” Maher said with a laugh. “When we found out, we tried to find something that at least sounded good.

Trainer Ciaron Maher.Credit: Getty Image

“It seems strange that we came out here and registered the name here for the Golden Eagle last year and then another horse gets the name.

“They knew we were coming back. It’s a bit frustrating.”

Light Infantry Man is still without a group 1 victory but has been placed in top company on five occasions at Deauville, Longchamp and Royal Ascot.

“He has been running against the best horses in Europe and not been far away,” Maher said. “He was here for the Golden Eagle, and we planned to be back this year and this race was put on, which was perfect for him.

“He is a little bit stronger and more mature this time around, and we are very happy with what he has done at Canterbury.”

Light Infantry Man will run in the King Charles and then the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley later in the month, which gives him a further shot at a group 1.

“It doesn’t really matter, but if he wins, Light Infantry Man might have to stick,” Maher said.

“If he brings the form that saw him run third in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot and his runs in France this year, he will be hard to beat.”

Star Hong Kong jockey Zac Purton has been booked for Light Infantry Man’s Australia campaign. The horse was backed from $11 to $9.50 when King Charles betting opened. Dual Doncaster winner Mr Brightside is the $2 favourite from Fangirl and Zaaki at $8.50.

Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, will also saddle up $41 outsider Nugget in the mile group 1, which weakened out of the Epsom after making a lightning mid-race move.

“He is better that and in a big race like an Epsom you can’t do what he did and win,” Maher said.

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