Basarwa primed for Levin Classic tilt

Basarwa will contest the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday. Photo: Race Images Palmerston North

Guy Lowry reckons he has talented Atlante three-year-old Basarwa in the best condition he could possibly have him in going into Saturday’s Group 1 Devan Plastics Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham. Lowry, who trains in partnership with Grant Cullen, has produced Basarwa for a debut win at Hastings and a second placing to race rival Invisible Spirit at Trentham in two starts to date.

“I’m happy with him,” Lowry said. “He had a 1000m jumpout on the 5th (of January). He was only just beaten and hit the line really hard so he’s fit enough. I’m as happy with him now as I was when he won his first race and when he ran second at his second start. “He’s been aimed at this and I know they have all probably been aimed for it but this has been his target race since day one and he’s ready to give a good account of himself.”

Bred and raced by Lib Petagna and the Perry Family Trust, Basarwa will be out to emulate his sire Atlante as a Group 1-winning three-year-old over 1600m in the same Petagna colours. Fastnet Rock stallion Atlante, a $200,000 Ready To Run Sale purchase at Karaka for Wairarapa bloodstock agent Bruce Perry, stood for two seasons at Waikato’s Mapperley Stud before his death. His best horse so far has been this season’s Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) winner Callsign Mav.

“Basarwa is still a green and raw horse but I’ve got no doubt the mile will suit him better than 1400m. He was flat footed when they quickened the other day,” Lowry said. “He’s worked up well and is really bright. I can’t fault him. I’m just really looking forward to him running in it.”

TAB bookmakers have Basarwa as a $26 outsider in the Levin Classic market headed by Brando at $1.75 and Whimsical at $4.80.

Lowry and Cullen will produce four horses on a day that brings back fond memories of their Group 1 Telegraph (1200m) wins with Irish Fling (2014) and Adventador (2016), the others being Mohaka in the Group 3 Dixon & Dunlop Trentham Stakes (2100m), Can I Get An Amen and Bellesgirl.

“At the weights, Mohaka is in nicely and I can’t fault her either. There looks to be good speed in there and that will suit her. She’s in a really good mental state and she should go well,” Lowry said.

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