Top Victorian horseman Darren Weir has confirmed his evergreen veteran Akzar will bypass Monday’s Adelaide Cup at Morphettville and instead stay in Melbourne for a shot at Saturday week’s Australian Cup 2015.
Weir has three horses officially nominated for the $400,000 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) in South Australia on Monday.
His contingent is led by the early favourite in Adelaide Cup betting Taiyoo, the five-year-old shooting for his sixth win on the trot.
Last Saturday the Haradasun gelding raced in his maiden Group race in his Adelaide debut and was super impressive winning the Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m), the traditional lead-up into the Adelaide Cup.
He dominates the markets for his Group 2 debut next week despite being allocated the 59kg top weight and coming to the end of a long campaign going back to November last year.
Selkirk eight-year-old Akzar meanwhile has also been kept safe in futures Adelaide Cup odds at bookmakers around the country, but Weir this week confirmed he would be a non-acceptor for the lucrative two mile clash.
Instead Weir is aiming at a bigger payday at Flemington Racecourse on ‘Super Saturday’, March 14, with Akzar targeting the weight-for-age $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m).
One of 37 gallopers still officially in the mix for the Australian Cup this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, Akzar earned the Group 1 target after his impressive effort at Caulfield last Saturday.
The 42-start vet raced in a hot field that included returning Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) on Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
He came from back in the field over the closing stages in a barnstorming late effort to finish under a length away third behind the winner Mourinho.
It was an excellent performance and one that has Weir confident heading into the Australian Cup where the horse shoots for his fifth win over 2000m, and his third win at Flemington.
“He went really good, we’ll press on to the Australian Cup with him,” Weir told The Advertiser this week.
All-in Australian Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are still led by the now Kris Lees-trained German import Protectionist ($5) followed by the John O’Shea-trained European import Hartnell ($6) coming off a second in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) in his Australian debut last weekend and three-time Group 1 winner Happy Trails ($8) who ran second in the Peter Young Stakes.
Occupying the fourth line of Australian Cup betting still at single figures to win is then Akzar ($9).
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