Bons Away heads Aaron Purcell takeover

Aaron Purcell
More trophies could be in store for Aaron Purcell, who takes over for Ciaron Maher and has two good stakes-winning chance at Flemington on Saturday. Photo:

AARON Purcell only took over from suspended trainer Ciaron Maher this week, but preparations continue for Flemington this Saturday where Bons Away heads the charge.

Purcell was gifted the opportunity to run the stables for the next six months due to Ciaron Maher receiving a six-month suspension for his role in training horses for ex-conman Peter Forster.

Without having much time to prepare for stakes racing at Flemington this Saturday, Purcell has done his best to familiarise himself with the many stable stars.

“I’m only new to Caulfield having taken over from Ciaron this week,” Purcell told “Fortunately for me, Ciaron has a really good team of staff and good processes here.

“Everyone knows their role and now they’re all helping me.”

Purcell is welcoming the challenge of training in the top Victorian ranks and quality four-year-old Bons Away ($8 at could lead his charge in the Gilgai Stakes at Flemington.

“I’m still learning the horses and how things are done. I have my finger on it now and I’m looking forward to tomorrow and long-term over the next six months,” Purcell said.

“I saw him (Bons Away) gallop on Tuesday and he went really good.

“He looks a million dollars and I’m not sure he could be in better shape.”

Neds sign up bonus

Bons Away was a stunning winner of the Atlantic Jewel Stakes last start at Caulfield where it defeated The Everest contender Brave Smash. Purcell admitted that he doesn’t know the in’s and out’s of the gelding, but believes it’s a winning chance.

“I think he’ll give his best on Saturday,” he said. “He’s quickly gone through the grades, he’s gone from strength to strength.

“His win the other day was good and they have an opinion of the second horse. If he can maintain that level or improve, he’s going to give tomorrow’s race a good chase.”

The original plan wasn’t to run the son of Bon Hoffa in Saturday’s Gilgai Stakes, but Purcell believes he should keep pushing for stakes level wins while the iron is hot.

“A month ago the Gilgai wasn’t his plan, but he keeps running well and we’ll just try to place him the best we can and win the best races we can,” Purcell said.

Purcell has inherited some talented thoroughbreds and he’s looking forward to contesting some group one races with his newly-acquired talent later in the spring carnival.

“Looking at the horses that are here, it’s clear to see how well everyone does their job,” Purcell said. “There will be stakes winners to come out of this stable.

“You have the obvious ones like Jukebox, Merchant Navy and Aloisia. They’ll run well in whatever they run in.”

He also lines up Rellson in the Antler Luggage Stakes earlier in the day. The $7 chance at has plenty of potential after scoring an easy win last start.

“Rellson is a nice horse and his work is really good,” Purcell said.

“There’s a stack of good horses, mostly three-year-olds and hopefully they find their right races in the spring and bring home a trophy.”

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments