A sharp drop in class is expected to give Akavoroun a chance for Victorian trainer Ciaron Maher to break his Brisbane winter duck.
Akavoroun has been campaigning in Group and Listed races over the past weeks but drops back to Saturday open company in the Hog’s Steaks Hcp (1630m) at Doomben.
Maher is hopeful Akavoroun can recapture his form of two years ago when he won the Listed Winter Championship final at Flemington.
“He is an older horse now and it has taken him longer to get back into form,” Maher said.
“His runs in stakes company haven’t been too bad and he wasn’t far off the minor placegetters at his last start in the Wayne Wilson Handicap.”
“A soft track on Saturday won’t harm his chances but he can handle wet and dry surfaces.”
Maher, who is a part-owner, has a soft spot for Akavoroun as he bred the galloper and nursed him through a setback during his three-year-old year.
Akavoroun is bred along the same lines as Tears I Cry who gave the trainer his first Group One win in the 2007 Emirates Stakes.
“He has been good to us and won $318,000 for a home-bred. I would like him to win again,” Maher said.
“On paper this looks more like his race at this stage of his career.”
Akavoroun is also entered for the South Grafton Cup on Sunday but at this stage Maher is aiming at Brisbane.
Maher has been a regular visitor to Queensland in recent years winning the Stradbroke Handicap and Tatt’s Tiara with Srikandi in 2015.
He has not had a winner this winter with Azkadellia second in both the Group One Doomben 10,000 and Tatt’s Tiara.
Azkadellia is spelling in Queensland and should be ready to head south in the next few weeks.
It has been another good year for Maher who has trained 72 winners overall including Group One victories in the Queen of the Turf Stakes with Azkadellia and VRC Oaks with Jameka.
“It has been a pretty good year which is a credit to our whole team. Now it is a matter of keeping it going,” Maher said.