Savabeel’s cup hope continues winning role

Savabeel’s progressive son King Oberon is chasing down a third New Zealand Cup for his trainer and part-owner Raymond Connors. The exciting five-year-old took another winning step toward the Group Three feature when he triumphed at Hastings this afternoon.

The gelding travelled well behind the pace before he was shuffled back, but he needed little encouragement to take a rails run in the straight. “I thought we were going to need luck and we got it so I’m thrilled,” said Connors, who races King Oberon with his father Mark. The same combination celebrated consecutive wins in the New Zealand Cup with Blood Brotha in 2011 and 2012.

King Oberon has now won four of his six starts and he will make one more appearance before he heads to Christchurch. Apprentice Shaun McKay, who is unbeaten in three rides on the horse, is in no doubt that King Oberon can cope with the 3200 metres of Riccarton feature on November 12. “He was better on top of the ground today than on a wet track,” he said. “He’s still looking for more ground as well.”

McKay had King Oberon loping along behind the pace on the fence, but he was worried when runners began circling the field 800 metres from home and they were hemmed in. “I was hoping a gap would open up and we got the dream run,” McKay said.

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