Kawi (center, black and white silks) gets up in the Windsor Park Plate

Kawi (center, black and white silks) gets up in the Windsor Park Plate

Trish Dunell/Courtesy NZ Racing Desk

Kawi Has Shot at New Zealand Triple Crown

Savabeel gelding could bypass series' final leg to ship to Australia.

Kawi thrust out his nose at the finish line and won the Windsor Park Plate (NZ-I) Sept. 17 at Hastings, setting him up for a New Zealand Triple Crown run next time out if he does not ship to Australia.

The 6-year-old son of Savabeel edged Mime by a slim margin following his previous victory at Hastings in the Makfi Challenge Stakes (NZ-I), the series' first leg Aug. 27. He looks poised to complete the first-ever Triple Crown sweep if he starts in the Livamol Classic (NZ-I) Oct. 1.

"It's tempting, but I've got to talk to the owners on Sunday morning," winning trainer Allan Sharrock said of Kawi, who could be sent to Australia, where a trio of group I races beckon. Although a chance to win the Triple Crown might keep him on home turf.

Showing his gameness Saturday, Kawi broke from post 9 raced and three wide without cover before flattening out in the stretch to edge mares Mime and Rasa Lila. Final time for 1,600 meters (about one mile) was 1:35.52 on a track rated as dead. 

"He's done it hard today and they still couldn't get passed him," Sharrock said. "He's the best I've trained and I've had a few good ones."

Longtime leader Mime looked to have secured the victory from a half mile out, but when jockey Leith Innes called upon Kawi, the gelding delivered with a powerful rally to post a fifth group I victory and 13th overall win from 26 starts.

Kawi, campaigned by a partnership that includes breeder J. P. Goodin, is out of the Volksraad mare Magic Time.