Progressive gelding Akavoroun has scored six wins from his seven race starts to date and has done enough to convince trainer Ciaron Maher that he is ready to make his debut at Group level in the 2014 Bobbie Lewis Quality at Flemington on September 13.
Akavoroun made his debut in May last year and worked his way through the grades impressively during his winter preparation that concluded with a fast-finishing victory over a strong field in the Listed VRC-CRV Winter Championship Final (1600m) at Flemington on July 12.
Maher told Racing Victoria that he is now eyeing Group 1 events like the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 28 and the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at the same venue on October 11 with Akavoroun, but will first access how he performs in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m).
“Akavoroun is just having a couple of weeks freshen up at the farm,” Maher said.
“He will probably kick off in the Bobbie Lewis and he might then go to the Rupert Clarke Stakes and the Toorak Handicap.”
Akavoroun took out the Winning Edge Presentations Maiden (1400m) in his racing debut at Warrnambool in May last year and he spent a lengthy stint in the spelling paddock after taking out the Jimjoca Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield on May 25.
The Lacryma Cristi gelding returned to the races with a win in the McCarthy Catering Handicap (1200m) and was touted as a potential 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival contender, but Maher opted to keep the improving four-year-old in Victoria.
Akavoroun extended his unbeaten recorded when he took out the Gotta Take Care Handicap (1400m) at Bendigo on May 22, but he suffered his first defeat when he finished second behind Fast Free in the Best Tote Handicap (1500m) at Moonee Valley on June 7 before returning to winning form in the a VRC-CRV Winter Championship Heat (1410m) at Flemington on June 28.
The rising five-year-old was well-backed in the lead-up to the VRC-CRV Winter Championship Final and he was settled towards the tail of the field by jockey Michelle Payne before storming home in the final stages to record his maiden black type racing win.
Maher is chasing his first win at Group 1 level since Tears I Cry scored an upset victory in the 2007 edition of the Emirates Stakes (1600m).