THE LUKE Griffith-trained Akamas has booked himself a possible start in the $65,000 Muswellbrook Cup (1500m) on Melbourne Cup day after his easy win in yesterday’s Kia Ora Stud Benchmark 65 (1600m) at Scone.
“We will have to wait and see how many benchmark points he goes up,” Griffith said.
“Hopefully it will be enough to get him in the field.
“We will see how strong the cup field is then decide if he starts, provided he is high enough up the order.”
Jockey Greg Ryan settled Akamas in fifth place early but, when the horse started to over- race, he let him edge closer to the lead, sitting in third place on the turn.
He got a split at the top of the straight and quickly went to the lead but then had to hold off the Rodney Ollerton-trained Hadeed (Adrian Layt) which came from last to get within half a length.
However Ryan was always riding confidently and Akamas never looked in any real danger.
The Mary Moses-trained Eanie Meanie was a further one and a half lengths away third after always racing in the leading position and will now be spelled.
“We were going to spell him after his last run but this race came up and it was a good opportunity to see if he will run 1600 metres,” Moses said.
“It was a test.
“He never saw the rail and probably ran 1700m.”
Debutante three-year-old filly War Flower stamped herself as well and truly up to city class with a runaway win in the Dane Shadow Maiden (900m).
“She is too good for country racing,” jockey Ryan said after steering the daughter of War Pass to a five and a half length win.
Wall Flower was bred and is raced by Stuart Ramsey’s Ramsey Pastoral and is by Widden Stud’s War Pass from the Centaine mare Boganvillia.
This is the first horse that Ramsey has entrusted to Newcastle trainer Darren Smith and it could be the start of a great relationship.
“I like her a lot,” Smith said.
“Obviously she is city class so we have a look at the calendar and see what is available.
“She will not have a long preparation this time in.
“Perhaps she is good enough for us to look to the autumn with her, you never know.”
Wall Flower went into the race a long odds on favourite on the strength of several impressive trials.
The filly was a fraction slow leaving the barriers but was in front in the space of half a dozen strides and dictated terms from there.
She exploded right away in the straight, with Ryan sitting quietly and merely steering.