Bon Aurum took advantage of an outstanding Kerrin McEvoy ride to record a maiden Group 1 victory in the 2016 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield this afternoon.
Bon Aurum is a horse that produces his best form when he receives galloper room and McEvoy managed to get him into a lovely rhythm three wide, while Xtravagant took up the running.
McEvoy followed Counterattack into the race and he hit the front at the 200 metre mark before he held-off Voodoo Lad and Fast ‘N’ Rocking in the final stages.
The leading hoop rode Bon Aurum to his previous biggest win in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) a year ago and he was thrilled to be able to reunite with the son of Bon Hoffa in the Group 1 event.
“It is a good thrill to be back in Melbourne on the big days and winning,” McEvoy said.
“He is a horse that I have had a little bit to do with and it is good to be back on him.
“Ciaron has done a good job with him, he has grown up a bit and he has furnished a bit more.
“He was always going to be a nice four-year-old and he has shown that all prep.
“We had a nice run with some cover behind Counterattack and he was full of running when I asked him.
“It is a good buzz to win another one.”
Maher was quick to pay credit to the ride of McEvoy and also to the rest of his team that had put so much work into Bon Aurum ahead of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
The rising trainer confirmed that Bon Aurum will have his next race start in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 8 and he believes that he could not have the four-year-old in better form.
“It was a good ride from Macca,” Maher said.
“He got him in that three wide line where he likes to be and really brought him on.
“We thought we would kick him off back in a ratings race and if he made the necessary steps we could always lift the bar.
“I’m in two minds whether he runs a strong mile, but I think this is probably the best vain of form that he has been in and he is still on the way up.
“It is a good time to test it out.”
Xtravangant knocked up late after leading early in what was another disappointing performance, while Counterattack failed to finish off after being set a tough task by Craig Williams.