CAULFIELD trainer Ciaron Maher will resist the temptation of racing unbeaten gelding Akavoroun at the lucrative Brisbane winter carnival.
The four-year-old made it four wins from as many starts with an impressive victory in the Gotta Take Care Aiming for Three In A Row Showcase Handicap (1400m) at Bendigo on Thursday.
Maher, who bred the son of Lacryma Cristi, said Akavoroun’s short-term goal is open class races in Melbourne.
“I’ve always liked him. He’s still a big baby and you could see today when he hit the front early that he wanted to look around a bit,’’ Maher said.
“When he gets into the better quality races, he’ll be able to get back with better speed on and then hit the line strongly.”
“He was entered for a couple of nice races in Brisbane, but we’ll keep him here and race him through his grades.
“He’s always shown us plenty… he’s taken some time and he’s still a bit raw, but we think he’s got a very bright future.”
Jockey Michelle Payne settled Akavoroun ($1.55) just off leader Get Pronto ($7), who set a good tempo out in front.
Akavoroun cruised up to Get Pronto at the 300m mark and worked to the front.
Digitalism ($8.50) flashed home down the outside to get within a length-and-a-half of Akavoroun, but the winner had plenty in hand.
“He gives you as good a feel as you’ll get from a horse in a race,’’ Payne said.
“When he takes you into the race from the 500m he gives you such a nice feel.
“He’s only going to better with racing. He’s an exciting horse.”
Akavoroun’s victory gave Maher and Payne a winning double.
Earlier in the day, the Maher-trained Barkly Boy broke its maiden status impressively in the Centrebet Maiden Plate (1400m).
Aided by a superb ride from Payne, Barkly Boy ($2.35) won by two lengths from Later Baby ($7), with Revelio ($7.50) a further two-and-a-half lengths away in third.
Leading jockeys Michael Rodd and Ben Melham also celebrated winning doubles at the Bendigo Jockey Club meeting.