Bush sprinter Akasaki will chase his most important win in the Group Three Maurice McCarten Stakes.
Akasaki was destined for the scrapheap until a hotelier took a punt on him and that faith could be rewarded at Rosehill when the horse lines up in the Group Three Maurice McCarten Stakes.
Ian Campbell, who runs the Willow Tree Hotel at Scone, came across Akasaki after he failed a vet test and was facing an uncertain future.
He put together a syndicate of friends and clients to race the horse and under trainer Stephen Jones, Akasaki has gone from strength to strength.
“He failed a scope at the sales and they bought him for no money, a couple of grand,” Jones said.
“He eventually had to have a wind op done, a tie-back done, and he’s been great since.
“He’s just a really great horse, he’s got a heart like a lion.”
Akasaki contested the corresponding race last year but comes into this year’s renewal in superior form.
He was a last-start third to Badajoz at Warwick Farm on Inglis Millenium day when he was twice blocked for a run at a vital stage in the straight before finishing hard to be beaten less than half a length.
He missed a scheduled start at Rosehill in between due to a minor setback but given the five-year-old relishes having his runs spaced, Jones doesn’t view that as a negative.
“He’ll be right in the finish I think,” Jones said.
“He’ll be nice and fresh and he races great that way. I feel quite confident leading into it actually.
Tim Clark takes the ride on Akasaki who is a $10 chance and will take his prize money to more than $350,000 if he can win.