Kawi bagged his sixth Group One title yesterday when he trumped the in-form Start Wondering at Otaki.
The Haunui Farm WFA Classic was widely viewed as a match race between the two and so it developed with the New Plymouth representative gaining the upper hand close to the post.
"To me he was very strong late and looking like he wants 2000 metres now," trainer Allan Sharrock said.
Jason Waddell was having his first ride on Kawi and he played his part to perfection to guide Savabeel's best son to victory.
"He's class and they played the waiting game and when they got out into the open he was dominant in the last few strides," Sharrock said.
"I'll speak to Jason, but I'm leaning toward the 2000 metre at Ellerslie next."
The group one Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes in a fortnight's time is the race Sharrock has his eye on and will then make a choice between Sydney or Brisbane.
Kawi settled back on the rails before Waddell got him off the fence near the 600 metre mark to improve around runners.
Start Wondering, in search of the third Group One victory of his campaign, was in front at the top of the straight but he was unable to hold out Kawi's finishing burst and succumbed by three-quarters of a length.
Sofia Rosa was 2 lengths adrift of the top two, but there was plenty of merit in her run after missing the kick. Like Kawi, she will appreciate the step up to 2000 metres in the New Zealand Stakes ahead of a trip to Sydney.
at Matamata, Te Akau Racing's bid for major two-year-old honours was strengthened yesterday when Gold Fever kept it in the family with a sterling effort to claim the group two Matamata Breeders' Stakes.
The half-sister to Gold Rush, who won last year's edition of the J. Swap Contractors-sponsored feature, joined barn mate and Karaka Million winner Melody Belle as a feature juvenile winner and they now have the group one Sistema Stakes in a fortnight in their sights.
Another member of the stable in Summer Monsoon had earlier finished runner-up in the Listed Reid & Harrison Slipper with a performance that had boosted confidence in Gold Fever.
"She's holding her form really well and she had also worked very well with Summer Monsoon here on Tuesday morning," said Jamie Richards, who trains in partnership with Stephen Autridge.
"The Savabeels are really tough and she's a filly with attitude and come race day she's very hard to get past. "She'll go to the group one in a couple of weeks and she's run well at Ellerslie before."
Gold Fever settled close to the pace and one off the fence and she wound up powerfully in the closing 250 metres under stable rider Opie Bosson.
"She travelled nicely and the fast pace helped," he said.
"She's a tough little filly, not the easiest to ride.
"And all credit to Cameron Lammas, who has educated her and made my job a lot easier."
Joyfilly travelled one spot ahead of Gold Fever and she made a fight of it in the straight before going under by a head. Santuzza set a hot tempo in front and she boxed on gamely for third ahead of Princess Rihanna.
Meanwhile, the well-supported Ujjayyi got into a nice place near the speed before she ran off on the home turn.
- NZ Racing Desk.