Trainer Allan Sharrock has revealed that the 2015 Mackinnon Stakes could be an option for talented Kiwi galloper Kawi.
Kawi proved that he was capable of competing at the highest level of racing when he finished a close third behind Pondarosa Miss and Vespa in the Group 1 Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie on April 18 and Sharrock will give the Savabeel gelding another opportunity to claim a maiden victory at the highest level of racing.
Sharrock told the New Zealand Racing Desk that Kawi would likely return to racing in the Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa on August 15 and contest the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hawke’s Bay a fortnight later before potentially making the trip across the Tasman for the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
“The Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington is an option, but I’m more thinking of the Australian Cup in the autumn for him,” Sharrock said.
“I’d like to get some Group Ones at home with him first.
“He galloped super this morning (yesterday) and the way he is I don’t think I’ll have any other choice than to run him first up in the Foxbridge Plate.
“He’s not a 1200 metre horse, but he’ll run a bonny race and he did run 1.08.8 when he won first-up at Trentham last year so he’s certainly not slow.
“He will probably have to run on all three days at Hastings, there are very few other options to avoid three trips to the Hawke’s Bay.
“He will be most potent on the second and third days, but he is a big, robust horse and he’s a very good traveler so I’m not worried about that.”
Kawi made his Group 1 debut in the Ocean Park Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham in January of last year, but he went to another level during his summer campaign.
The rising five-year-old started his preparation with two solid performances at Trentham and Ellerslie and he recorded a maiden black-type racing debut with a win in the Listed Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham on January 17 before he took out the Group 3 Taranaki Cup (1800m) at New Plymouth on February 14.
Kawi was only narrowly denied by Julinsky Prince in the Group 2 Japan International Handicap (1600m) at Tauranga on March 21 and he was sent to the spelling paddock after his solid effort in the Easter Handicap.