Talented gelding Akavoroun will be set for a 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign after he scored an impressive win in the Listed VRC-CRV Winter Championship Final (1600m) at Flemington on July 12.
Akavoroun was settled towards the tail of the field by jockey Michelle Payne in the early stages of the race and the Lacryma Cristi gelding was still a long way from the leaders with 400 metres left to run.
The Cleaner kicked clear with 300 metres left to run, but Akavoron stormed home in the final stages of the race and made up plenty of ground late to score a tough win over The Cleaner and the consistent Gig.
Payne has ridden Akavoroun in six of his seven race starts and she told the media after the race that she has been delighted to develop a connection with such a talented galloper.
“He was terrific today,” Payne said.
I straightened up and had a lot of horse underneath me, but I thought he’s going to have to be pretty good to win today and he was.
“It’s just been such a great ride that this horse has given us.”
Akavoroun has now recorded six wins from seven appearances at the races and the impressive nature of his Winter Championship Final victory has trained eyeing the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival with the rising five-year-old.
Maher is unsure what races that he will target with Akavoroun, but he is confident that the progressive gelding has the ability to compete at Group level during the upcoming season.
“I haven’t even thought about it yet, but we’ll find some good races for him,” Maher said.
“It’s a huge thrill; I’ve always had a lot time and faith in this horse and his last two runs have probably been his best.
“Obviously we’re already on the doorstep of spring so we’ll just give him a freshen and then map out a plan from there.”
Payne and Maher also combined to win the Banjo Paterson Series Final with Marksmanship at Flemington on Saturday, while Maher capped off a stellar weekend at Sandown on Sunday when Bashboy returned to his best form to win the Crisp Steeplechase for the third year in a row.