Trainer Ciaron Maher will consider the option of running Akavoroun in The Star Epsom if he were to win the Group 2 $175,000 Leonay Plumbing Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Akavoroun is weighted on the minimum 52kg for the Group 1 $1m The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick next Saturday and a win in the Shannon Stakes would exclude him from the ballot and any penalty for the feature Spring Carnival Randwick Mile.
“If he won we would think about (the Epsom),” Maher told the Sportsman.
The Caulfield trainer’s original plan was to return to Melbourne for the Group 1 $400,000 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 10.
Maher had also nominated Akavoroun for the Group 1 $400,000 Anthea Crawford Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield this Saturday but decided to take on the easier Shannon Stakes at Rosehill.
“The Rupert Clarke looks quite a strong race and he probably needs a mile to show his best so it is nice timing for the Toorak,” Maher said.
Akavoroun has been out of the winner’s stall since winning the Listed $150,000 VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series Final (1600m) at Flemington during the Winter of 2014 but Maher was happy with his first up performance at Flemington two weeks ago.
The six year old made up plenty of ground late to run second to Disposition in the Listed $120,000 The Sofitel (1400m) and Maher is very happy with the way he has progressed since.
“It was a very good run and he has trained on well,” Maher said.
“He still had a bit of condition on him and was a bit woolly in the coat.”
While Disposition heads the market order at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Sit Rupert Clarke Stakes at $3.80, Akavoroun is on the second line of betting for the Shannon Stakes at $6 behind $4.80 equal favourites Ninth Legion and Vashka.
Team Hawkes also decided to take the easier option with Ninth Legion and scratched the Fastnet Rock gelding from the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
Ninth Legion is also fitter for one run from a spell and ran an honest race when third to Winx in the Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 12.
The John O’Shea trained Vashka was well fancied in the Theo Marks Stakes but failed to make any impression before finishing three and a half lengths seventh but no doubt will take a lot of benefit from the run.
Shannon Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.80 Ninth Legion, Vashka, $6 Akavoroun, $7 Flamingo Star, $8 God’s In Him, $8.50 Messene, $10 I’m Imposing, $13 Foreign Prince, $21 Foreteller, Wouldnt It Be Nice, $34 Moriarty.