Central Districts trainer Kevin Myers enjoyed a day out at Awapuni on Friday, saddling five winners. The wily conditioner linked with rider Shaun Fannin to win four of the five jumps races with Bakela, Ave Maria, Albaron and Napolean, but it was the flat victory of staying and jumping all-rounder Aigne in the Eddie Carson Memorial Parliamentary Handicap (2100m) that proved one of the highlights of the day.
Confidently ridden by Sam O’Malley, Aigne showed a great turn of foot late to demolish his rivals by six and a half lengths, providing a tonic for owner and former trainer Neil O’Dowd, who is still feeling the effects of an accident with a former stablemate a couple of months ago.
“I’m getting better, but I failed the concussion test the other day and still have blurred vision,” O’Dowd said. “It was a brilliant win today. He just seems to be getting better with age. “We were looking at hurdles for him – Waikato, Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay – but I said to Kevin don’t be afraid to have a crack at the Winter Cup (Group 3, 1600m) if you are taking a truck down to Christchurch. “I will talk to Kevin and leave it to him. He is training him now.”
O’Dowd said the A$300,000 Jericho Cup (4600m) at Warrnambool in December remains a possible long-range target for Aigne, who finished sixth in the race last year, and a qualifying race at New Plymouth on September 26 would again be considered.