Leading 2014 Doomben Cup contender Akzar arrived in Brisbane this morning and trainer Darren Weir confirmed that the imported galloper had no problems handling his first plane journey since he arrived in Australia at the end of 2010.
Akzar will be racing in Queensland for the first time in his racing career and Weir admitted earlier in the week that he was worried how the Selkirk gelding would handle his trip to the Sunshine State, but told Sky Racing HQ this morning that the Warrnambool Cup winner had settled into his new environment well ahead of the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) this weekend.
“He flew up last night and our foreman Daniel from Warrnambool went up with him and said that he got there well and was nice and bright this morning when he took him for a walk,” Weir said.
“That was a little issue and he is not the greatest eater either, so hopefully over the next two or three days he can eat well enough and present to the races in good order on Saturday.
“It would be nice if he ate well, that is the main thing now, and the barrier is out of our hands, but it would be good to draw inside ten.”
Akzar has raced exclusively in Victoria and South Australian since arriving in Australia and has not run in a race in a clockwise since she was prepared in Ireland by veteran trainer John Oxx, but Weir is confident that the seven-year-old will have no problems handling the reverse way of going after he completed a clockwise lap of the Warrnambool track earlier in the week.
“No concerns at all,” Weir said.
“Brad (Rawiller) went down and galloped him and he galloped a lap from winning post to winning post the reverse way and he said that he felt good.
“He changed his legs when he needed to and Brad said that he doesn’t think that it will be a problem.
“Early in his career the horse has raced overseas that way once, so I don’t think that it will be a problem.”
The complete 2014 Doomben Cup field and barrier draw was released this morning and enhanced the chance of Akzar who has drawn ideally in barrier six.
Akzar ($5.50) is now on the third line of 2014 Doomben Cup betting markets behind Streama ($4.20) and Leebaz ($4.50).