Gallant Kawi claims G1 Wellington Captain Cook Stakes

Kawi winning the G1 Captain Cook Stakes
Kawi winning the G1 Captain Cook Stakes (photo: Peter Rubery)
Powerhouse Taranaki performer Kawi has edged closer to a significant slice of New Zealand racing history

Success in Saturday’s G1 RCaptain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham was his seventh at the highest level to put him level with the outstanding mare Seachange.

They sit one behind the former two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year Mufhasa, who heads the hit parade with eight domestic Group One wins.

New Plymouth trainer Allan Sharrock has yet to decide his next step in his bid to further Kawi’s record, who was rated New Zealand’s best galloper after his G1 Haunui Classic win early this year.

“We could stay at a mile or go to 2000m or freshen him up and go for the Telegraph – he’s a tractable horse,” he said.

Kawi was back and wide in the Captain Cook before he was urged around the field a long way from home. He was prominent on straightening and held a strong gallop in the closing 350m to trump Consensus and Sofia Rosa.

“He’s a very good horse – he sat four wide and that’s not how we saw it, but he was tough enough,” Sharrock said.

“He was travelling on the corner, it was a terrific effort.”

Rider Jason Waddell said his pre-race plans went awry in the early stages of the race.

“Down the back straight we were all over the place, we had a good spot and then got shuffled back.”

“I then rode him like the best horse in the race and kept him out of trouble and rolling along.”

“When the speed went out of the race 700m from home I got going. It’s a long way down that straight, but he’s just a tiger.”

Consensus’ performance to finish runner-up was meritorious as she was tardily away and Sofia Rosa showed something of her best form with her late-closing run for third ahead of Benzini, who also finished off strongly.

Notably on this day last year, Kawi attempted to take the G1 Kingston Town Classic back to New Zealand. This years versions of the race which is the final Australian G1 for the calendar year will be run later today at Ascot.