Racing: Walker to ride Kawi

Kawi heads to Australia next week for a Perth campaign. Photo / Race Images
Kawi heads to Australia next week for a Perth campaign. Photo / Race Images

Former leading New Zealand jockey Michael Walker will ride Kawi in Australia.

Taranaki trainer Allan Sharrock confirmed the engagement as he puts the finishing touches on the star son of Savabeel ahead of a three-start campaign in Perth.

"Michael's going to be riding him and the horse looks magnificent.

"He won a jumpout the other day and his last public appearance will be at the Waverley trials on Thursday.

"He flies to Melbourne on October 29 and he'll be there for a day and a half before he carries on to Perth.

"There's a risk involved every time you travel a horse, but Kawi is a good traveller so I can't see any problems."

The multiple group one winner will make his debut at Ascot on November 5 in the Lee Steere Stakes, a race won last year by Saturday's Cox Plate contender Black Heart Bart.

"That's over 1400m at weight-for-age, so it's an ideal race," Sharrock said. Kawi will then target Ascot's two major prizes, the Railway Stakes on November 19 and the Kingston Town Classic on December 3.

Walker served his apprenticeship with Sharrock and he made a remarkable start by winning the apprentices' title and the senior jockeys' premiership with 131 winners in his first full season in the 1999-2000 term.

Walker is now based in Victoria, where, in recent seasons, he has forged a successful association with the Hayes and Dabernig training combination as well as Nigel Blackiston.

- NZ Racing Desk

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