Nicconi filly Akiko couldn’t have been any more impressive when dominating her rivals first up in yesterday’s Brooke Fiore For Hair And Tanning Maiden (Race 2-1216m) at Bunbury.
Stepping out for new trainer Anne King (previous prepared by Julie Clements), the three-year-old controlled the race from the one out/one back position in running, looming large to share the lead in the three-wide line swinging for home, before charging clear in the straight to score by a widening 3-1/4 lengths (click here to watch replay).
Akiko, who raced twice for Clements as a two-year-old in July, showed she had returned in good shape with an eye-catching trial performance at Lark Hill on October 31, when ridden by Alan Kennedy.
The $12,000 yearling purchase (2015 Perth Magic Millions) was expertly handled by Steven Parnham yesterday, who was a late replacement for an over-weight Glenn Smith, while original rider Kennedy missed out through suspension.
Akiko, who was sent out a $4 second favourite on TABtouch Fixed Odds. was expected to face fierce opposition from the heavily-supported Jaz Me Up ($5 into $2.40), however, she turned the race into a one-act affair and stamped herself as a filly to watch.