Report: New Zealand, Saturday
Hastings: Makfi Challenge Stakes (Group 1) 7f, 3yo+
KAWI (Allan Sharrock/Leith Innes) produced a powerful run in the home straight to capture this contest and lead his rider to compare the winner to top Australian performer Starcraft.
Starcraft, who went on to race in Europe and landed the Group 1 Prix du Moulin and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in 2005 for trainer Luca Cumani, was successful in the 2004 Challenge Stakes under Innes.
Kawi, sent off the 4-1 joint-favourite with Turn Me Loose, came fast and late at leader Ryan Mark to win the race going away.
“He’s done it pretty easily,” Innes told stuff.co.nz. “There was plenty of pace on so it was always going to help him. He got a good run into it and turning in I was pretty confident.”
Winning trainer Allan Sharrock intends to target Kawi at the remaining two legs of the Hawke’s Bay spring triple crown, starting with the Windsor Park Plate in three weeks.
He said: “It couldn’t have worked out any better. I’ve always said he is a very serious racehorse and he showed it today.
“It’s great for the owners, especially Steak Goodin. He’s my cousin-in-law and has bred a lot of horses that we have trained over the years. He’s had a stroke but still loves his racing and this is the first Group I winner he has bred.”
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