The Bons salutes after almost 500 days between drinks

By Georgie Dennis

He was thereabouts at every start during the Spring but on Saturday at his home track, Bons Away finally got his nose in front at the right time and won the Listed W.J Adams Stakes.

It’s been a frustrating ride with this horse as he kept racing extremely well at the highest level but just always ran into one or two horses better.

Last year’s Blue Diamond and Blue Sapphire winner, Written By, went into the race as the short-priced favourite but after he and Bons Away went head to head in a jump out recently, jockey Linda Meech had all the confidence in her mount.

“I was so confident. I know its really hard to be confident when there’s a $1.50 favourite, but I thought my horse jumped out every bit as good as him the other day,” Meech told after the race.

“He drew perfect for him and I got to really cuddle him until the furlong and just had to slip up inside the good horse and he was good enough.

“He’s just come back in great order,” she said.

After already training a double at Caulfield for the day, it was a satisfying win for co-trainer Ciaron Maher.

“That was very satisfying,” Maher gleamed after the race.

“He had a slightly frustrating prep last time around, he went to every dance and just got pipped on a couple of them.”

Maher credited the team for having the son of Bon Hoffa spot on to win first-up, syndicator and breeder of the horse Ken King as well as the superb ride by Meech.

“He’d come up really well, it was a super job by the team,” the trainer said.

“Georgie Dennis, his strapper, she absolutely loves this horse and she turned him out beautifully today and got the strappers award.

“To Ken King, he’s been a great supporter of the stable for a long time and he’s produced two Group 1 wins for the stable (Set Square and Bon Aurum) that he’s bred himself and hopefully this horse is on the way to his,” Maher told

“And to Linda, she beat Brave Smash here on this horse and Ken was happy to back her.

“She does a great job for the stable. She’s there every Tuesday and whenever we need her.”

Next stop for Bons Away is the $500,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate, a race that he ran fifth in last year where he raced wide and was still only beaten by a neck.

“Back to the handicap conditions will be ideal for him,” Maher said.

“It’s a race we’ve really targeted and he looks like he’s come back super.”

It’s three weeks until the target race for the five-year-old so he will have an easy few days between now and then, plenty of trips to the beach and hopefully be spot on, on the day.