BONS Away made the jump from restricted country races to listed race success for the Winslow-raised Ciaron Maher when he won the $120,000 Testa Rossa Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Fresh from victories at Sale, Mildura and Seymour, Bons Away defeated the highly-rated Brave Smash, trained by Darren Weir, and Fast ‘N’ Rocking in the 1200-metre race.
Winning jockey Linda Meech said the lightly-raced four-year-old deserved a start in the metropolitan meeting following his hat-trick of wins on the country circuit.
“Bons Away is a horse with a lot of confidence at the moment and has really got his tail up,” Meech said.
“He would have let off a ripping sectional from the 500 to the 200 metres.
“Then got a little bit tired but he got a break on the second horse and was able to hold him.”
Meanwhile, Maher’s boom colt Merchant Navy disappointed his followers on Saturday.
Merchant Navy ran 10th behind Trapeze Artist in the $1 million group one Golden Rose at Rosehill for the Grand Annual Steeplechase-winning trainer.
Merchant Navy’s jockey Mark Zahra told the stewards after race the three-year-old was checked near the 1200-metre mark.
He added the horse travelled comfortably in the run but did not quicken when asked for an effort in the straight.
A post-race veterinary examination did not reveal any abnormalities with Merchant Navy.