Akihiro back on track despite dire conditions in Turenne
Prix Turenne (Listed) 3yo | 1m4f Turf
Akihiro began the season as one of the brightest Classic hopefuls in France and, while those hopes have not been fulfilled, he showed he remains a horse for the future after scoring on his first start since May.
Settled by Maxime Guyon at the back of the six-runner field for his first outing at a mile and a half and on very deep ground, Akihiro threaded a passage up the rail and fought hard to repel the relentless challenge of Instigator to score by a head.
A son of Japanese super-sire Deep Impact, Akihiro provided plenty of reasons to smile through the gloom for trainer Andre Fabre and his owner/breeders, Alain and Gerard Wertheimer.
Racing manager Pierre-Yves Bureau said: "It was especially pleasing to see him take the gap up the inner of the other horse and it was also reassuring to see him handle this ground, which I think he got through on his class really."
This race has provided a late passport to the Arc on occasions but connections look likely to wait a couple of weeks more with Akihiro for a return to Group 2 company.
Bureau said: "We will have to see how he comes out of it but the natural race for him would be the Conseil de Paris [on October 15] which is over this trip and in a month’s time. We’ll talk with the trainer and the owners but that looks the right spot for him."