FORMER top Warrnambool jockey Andy Kermond gave Ciaron Maher a positive report on Mr O’Ceirin’s chances in the $500,000 Doomben Cup today after riding him in trackwork at Eagle Farm on Tuesday morning.
Akzar, the winner of the Warrnambool Cup on May 1, is also one of 10 acceptors in the 2000-metre race.
The Darren Weir-trained Akzar, which is trained at his Warrnambool satellite stable, has been under the care of Daniel Bowman at Eagle Farm since Wednesday as the seven-year-old prepares for the feature race.
Kermond, who was the golden-haired pin-up jockey of local punters in the mid-1970s and early 1980s, partnered the well-fancied Mr O’Ceirin and his stablemate Srikandi in their last serious gallops before today’s big meeting at Doomben.
Champion jockey Glen Boss will ride Mr O’Ceirin in the group 1 race and the promising galloper Srikandi, which lines up in the $100,000 Juanmo Stakes.
Maher said he was lucky to have picked up Kermond’s services to ride both his horses in trackwork on Tuesday.
“My partner Bianca Gilcrist had both horses at Eagle Farm on Tuesday and was just starting to look for a trackwork rider and the next minute Andy was there and said he would ride both horses. Andy has worked for Melbourne Cup-winning trainer John Meagher for about 10 years,” Maher said.
“Andy was highly respected as a jockey down our way when he was riding and now he’s one of the best trackwork riders going around. He told us both horses were spot-on to run well today.
“We only did a bit of light work with them on Thursday morning.”
Maher, who has stables at Caulfield and Winslow, said he was confident Mr O’Ceirin had improved since his second in the group 2 Hollindale Stakes earlier this month.
“His run in the Hollindale was only his second run in this campaign. It was an excellent run. The other horses in the Hollindale were more seasoned in their preparations than we were at that stage.
“Mr O’Ceirin is a very honest horse. I expect he’ll be well positioned in the run by Bossy. Bossy understands Mr O’Ceirin. I really don’t have to give him any instructions how to ride the horse.”
Boss said Mr O’Ceirin had been specifically targeted towards the Brisbane carnival after missing the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
“Ciaron has aimed Mr O’Ceirin at this race ... (he) is the one from the last race (Hollindale Stakes) where they all met that will take the most benefit. He gets to his correct distance — 2000 metres — and there looks like there will be cut in the ground again, which he likes, and he’s drawn a perfect alley for him.”
Meanwhile, four Warrnambool-trained horses will run at Caulfield today. Aaron Purcell accepted with Streaky Fella and St Jean in a 2000-metre race while Matthew Williams runs Ticket To Toorak in 1200-metre event.
Unique Storm lines up in an 1100-metre race for Denis Beriman.