Winning an appeal against the length of a careless riding ban has given jockey Luke Currie the chance to land the Toorak Handicap.
Currie celebrated his only Australian Group One victory in the corresponding race 12 years ago aboard Roman Arch and rides Akavoroun at Caulfield on Saturday.
Currie was suspended for nine meetings last week and appealed both the decision and severity.
The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board shaved three meetings off the penalty.
Akavoroun has 52kg in the Toorak and Currie can’t recall the last time he rode so light.
“Group One rides don’t come along every week for me, especially (when) I think the horse has a really good chance,” he said.
He admits getting the weight off is “pretty hard work”.
“I won’t be eating and drinking much. But I’ll get there,” he said.
Currie has ridden six city winners in Melbourne this season including two stakes wins on Magnapal who carried 54kg to his Heatherlie Handicap and Naturalism Stakes wins.
Currie has not ridden the Ciaron Maher-trained Akavoroun in a race but has been aboard the gelding in trackwork and has been impressed.
Akavoroun ran well in the Toorak last year, finishing fourth with 53kg.
“I’ve ridden him a bit in his trackwork and I think he’s flying,” Currie said.
“He’s drawn pretty ordinary out in barrier 15 which is disappointing. But on his work I thought he would be a great chance.”
Akavoroun is at $21 with Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes runner-up Disposition equal favourite at $5 along with topweight Lucky Hussler.
Disposition was beaten by the barest margin in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and meets the winner of that race, Stratum Star, 1.5kg better in the Toorak.