Kawi ready for ellerslie feature

Top Savabeel five-year-old Kawi will head to Ellerslie at the top of his game for the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic. The gelding tuned up for his northern test at Awapuni where he produced a devastating finish to take top honours in last Saturday’s Gr 2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes.

Unplaced at his previous start in a slowly-run Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes, Kawi took in the 1400 metre event to have him at peak condition for the step up to 2000 metres on Boxing Day. “I haven’t been able to take the edge off him, he was too fresh and he needed this race,” trainer Allan Sharrock said. “He’s a really good galloper and if he does things right at Ellerslie they’ll know he’s there.”

Kawi was a long way off the race with 800 metres to run, but rider Johnathon Parkes said he didn’t have any worries. “They went pretty hard up front and I thought they would all come back to us. I put the question to him and he picked up like a good horse. When I’ve ridden him before he needs a bit of niggling up at the 600 and I was always confident of getting there.”

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