Group One specialist Kawi comfortably earned a pass mark at Tuesday’s Cambridge trials from trainer Allan Sharrock.
The seven-time winner at the top level was taken north from his New Plymouth base as part of his preparation for Saturday week’s Group 1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) and pleased when runner-up in his 935m heat.
“I was really happy with his trial, there was no speed so he was hard on the bridle – they won’t go that slow in the Telegraph,” Sharrock said.
“The main thing was that he jumped out, he did that perfectly and probably the best he’s ever jumped.”
Kawi, who currently shares $5 favouritism for the Trentham feature with Volpe Veloce, was lively in the birdcage before trialling under race day rider Jason Waddell.
“I’m trying to keep him fresh and with the blinkers on it was all new to him, but that’s just Kawi,” Sharrock said.
The heat was won by the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained three-year-old I Got You.
“He’s a promising horse, he’s been stakes placed and only had the four starts so he’s got it all ahead of him,” Baker said.
Runner-up in the Listed El Roca Trophy (1200m), I Got You hasn’t raced since he was out of the money in the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m).
Baker was also pleased with the effort of his talented Savabeel mare Love Affair, who ran third in her 1200m heat behind stablemate Show The World.
“I was very happy with her,” he said. “She got back a bit, as is her style, and she ran on well. That will top her off nicely for the Thorndon Mile.”
Another Trentham feature race contender in action was Sacred Star, who is on target for the Telegraph, a race he won in 2015.
“I was really pleased. He was three back on the fence, held up a touch turning for home and he closed off well,” trainer Tony Pike said.
“He’s a horse who prefers big, roomy tracks and he’s got plenty of experience at Wellington.”
Sacred Star finished runner-up in his 935m trial behind the front-running Ferrando, who is also heading to the Telegraph.