Odds-on Kawi makes Sharrock uneasy
18 September 2015
The horse is fine but the short odds worry Allan Sharrock heading into the Windsor Park Plate (1600m) with Kawi at Hastings on Saturday.
The New Plymouth trainer admits to being “spooked’ by having an odds-on favourite for a Group One weight-for-age race.
“The uncomfortable part for me is having a $1.90 favourite,” he said.
“That adds a little bit of pressure.
“It is still a Group One race and it’s never that easy. They don’t give these sort of races away.”
Kawi has been at short odds for the second leg of the Hastings triple crown since putting away his rivals with relative ease in the opening leg, the Gr.1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m).
The Savabeel five-year-old should be suited by the step up in distance and Sharrock is confident the horse has improved with his second-up run.
“I’m really happy with him. He had been hanging on to his winter coat a bit but his coat has definitely improved and I think he’s improved physically slightly too.
Sharrock can also see positives in Kawi’s barrier of 11, at the tricky 1600m start.
“I’m happy with the draw. He doesn’t like being cluttered up on the fence.
“In an ideal world, he would have been in six or seven but, for me, the worst place to draw at that start is in the first three or four, where you often have to be kicked up to hold a place.”
Sharrock was also encouraged by the way Kawi raced for new rider Leith Innes in the Makfi. Kawi has often been slow away and can also over-race but jumped well and relaxed in the running.
“His last start was probably the only time in his whole career that he has done everything right,” Sharrock said. “It could be a maturity thing or that the horse and Leith just gelled.
“Having said that, he could jump in the air and miss it by six lengths on Saturday.
“But it does look, going forward, that’s he starting to do it right and I’ve always said that’s when he will be at his most potent.”
Kawi had an easy week following the Makfi but has been tightened with four gallops in the past 10 days.
“His work has been very pleasing,” Sharrock said.
Four-year-old Turn Me Loose, a likely improver from the Makfi, was a $6.50 second favourite for the Windsor Park on Friday, with Puccini at $9 and the only other runner at single-figure odds. – NZ Racing Desk