Ciaron Maher’s class galloper Akavoroun broke a 24 month winning drought with a return to form at Doomben Racecourse in Saturday’s 2016 Tattersall’s Mile.
The rising seven-year-old Lacryma Cristi gelding took out the Listed Winter Championship (1600m) at Flemington in July of 2014 defeating The Cleaner, but had won nothing else since until his weekend run in Brisbane.
After a smart second to Harada Bay over the Doomben mile on July 9, the Caulfield-based Maher backed Akavoroun up in the $100,000 Listed Tattersall’s Mile Handicap (1600m) where Michael Cahill jumped on the horse for the first time.
Despite the jockey change, a wide barrier 11 of 11 draw and step-up in class, the well-backed Akavoroun jumped the $5 favourite and enjoyed a drop in weight to win by a smart one and a half-lengths over the Doug Roberts-trained Brettan ($8).
It was Commands five-year-old Brettan’s third straight second place finish in Brisbane since June 25.
In third a further three quarters of a length away to finish off the Tattersall’s Mile trifecta was the Brian Smith-trained Jetset Lad ($21) who hadn’t finished in the money since his win in the same race behind Little Brown Horse 12 months ago.
Cahill took over for Damian Browne, who was removed from all rides at the meeting, and was thrilled to pick up the winning ride on Akavoroun.
“I had a bit of luck from the wide barrier and was able to get a good run. It was a good strong win and he is back near his best,” he said post-win on Saturday.
“The only time I was worried was when I got behind the 100-1 shot for a little bit, but otherwise it all worked out well and I’m lucky to get the late call-up.”
Akavoroun could now stay on in the Sunshine State where he seems to be thriving looking to keep the good times going after his success in the last stakes race of the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.
Maher had Akavoroun in the care of Brisbane-based horseman and his former mentor John Meagher who will make the suggestions to connections to keep the horse in Queensland.
“I think Akavoroun is in his right grade up here and I will suggest that he stays,” he told AAP.
The win was officially Maher’s first for the winter after a number of frustrating close calls including by his Queen Of The Turf Stakes winning mare Azkadellia who finished second in both the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) and Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m).
Meagher meanwhile trains in partnership with his son Chris and also enjoyed an earlier win on Tattersall’s Mile Day with Cruising Speed in the $40,000 Tattersall’s Class 3 Plate (1350m).
The flying Savabeel filly has now won three of her five starts and two from three at Doomben and Meagher said they were keen to step her out over a mile for the first time next start.
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2016 Tattersall’s Mile Results
Doomben Race 7 – 23/07/2016
|1||4||AKAVOROUN||Ciaron Maher||Michael Cahill||–||11||56kg||$5F|
|2||11||BRETTAN||Doug Roberts||Glen Colless||1.5L||5||54kg||$8|
|3||2||JETSET LAD (NZ)||Brian Smith||Paul Hammersley||2.3L||3||57.5kg||$21|
|4||3||FLAMBOYER||Kelly Doughty||Jeff Lloyd||2.4L||1||57kg||$5.50|
|5||10||HI SON||David Kelly||Robbie Fradd||3.7L||2||54kg||$10|
|6||7||FELTRE||Brian Smith||James Orman (a)||4.5L||6||55kg||$8.50|
|7||5||HARADA BAY||John & Chris Meagher||Luke Dittman||4.9L||10||55.5kg||$7.50|
|8||8||LAUTERBRUNNEN||Robert Heathcote||Jim Byrne||5.3L||8||54kg||$5.50|
|9||9||ADORABEEL (NZ)||Helen Page||Ryan Wiggins||7.1L||4||54kg||$31|
|10||1||STEEL ZIP||Pat Duff||Brad Stewart||7.3L||9||59kg||$15|
|11||12||PERFECT PUNCH||Maryann Brosnan||Jason Taylor||16.3L||7||54kg||$81|
|–||6||BEWHATYOUWANNABE||Robert Heathcote||Michael Cahill||–||0||–||–|