As Group One racing gets underway in Australia for the year in Melbourne, Michael Walker will head home to New Zealand to renew his association with Kawi.
The Melbourne-based ex-kiwi will ride the six-year-old in the Group One NRM Sprint at Te Rapa for his old boss Allan Sharrock on Saturday, the same day as the C F Orr Stakes in Melbourne.
Walker was aboard Kawi in his three starts at the Perth summer carnival but Leith Innes has been his regular rider in New Zealand.
“It was a hard one and it was discussed by the syndicate,” Sharrock told nz.racing,co.
“Leith has got a good record on the horse, but Michael had the knack of settling him in his races.”
Although Kawi was unplaced in Perth, Sharrock has been pleased with his recent progress.
“He’s had two jump-outs and a trial,” he said. “He’s still quite big, but he’ll be hard to beat.”
Kawi has won seven times over 1400 metres, including twice at Group One level in the Makfi Challenge.
“He’ll run at Te Rapa and then in the weight-for-age mile at Otaki and then we come to the fork in the road,” Sharrock said.
“There’s the New Zealand Stakes at Ellerslie or we could be looking at Sydney or Brisbane.”