THURSDAY: October 10, 2019: TALENTED Hawkesbury filly Akari may get another chance to earn black type following a splendid performance to shed her maiden status at Wyong today.
An outside draw, a wide run and 59kg topweight in the Fillies & Mares Maiden Handicap (1200m) all could have conspired to deny her a breakthrough – but she was good enough to overcome such obstacles.
Ridden by Nash Rawiller, Akari ($1.65 favorite) showed a brilliant turn of foot over the last 100m to snatch victory from $41 shot Compatriot on the post.
Whereas the runner-up, with 5kg less, enjoyed a cosy run in transit (third on the fence), Akari never saw the inside rail.
Trainer Brad Widdup, clinching his sixth success of the season and relieved his filly had won her first race, later indicated there was a possibility he could take her back to town for the Listed Reginald Allen Quality (1400m) against her own sex at Royal Randwick on Saturday week.
“It’s an option provided she pulls up well,” he said.
“I had no alternative but to roll the dice and take her to Wyong today, otherwise we would be getting further behind with her.
“She did a terrific job given the circumstances.”
Akari is a beautifully bred three-year-old daughter of champion sire Snitzel and a Japanese mare (Asterix) – and it was no surprise she topped $1m ($1,050,000 to be precise) at last year’s Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale.
Widdup has not pushed her, and she was having only her fourth start today.
Akari ran second on debut to boom filly Libertini at Randwick on Anzac Day, then again chased her home when third in the Listed Woodlands Stakes (1100m) at the Scone Cup carnival on May 11.
She resumed at Wyong on September 24 and, from an outside draw, wasn’t beaten far by hotpot Regimental Band (who had finished second to Libertini at Scone).
Widdup is confident Akari will get a chance to really shine once she gets a decent run in a race.
“She has hardly had a chance to switch off yet, and definitely has got some quality.”
. Widdup may also kick off a new campaign with smart four-year-old Sandbar at The Everest meeting at Randwick on Saturday week, intending to nominate him for the $500,000 Group 3 Sydney Stakes (1200m).
“He has come back in good order, has had two recent trials and is ready to go to the races,” he said.
“Long term, our mission with him is the Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast in January in either the 1200m Sprint or 1400m Cup.
“He could go to the new race at Newcastle (the $1m The Hunter, 1300m) next month en route to the Gold Coast.”