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Kawi Wins Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes
At Hastings in New Zealand, Waikato Stud's Cox Plate winning stallion Savabeel (Zabeel-Savannah Success, by Success Express) celebrated a Gr1 triumph when 5YO gelding Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) scored by 1.25-lengths for trainer Allan Sharrock in the NZ$200,000 Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) for 3YO+, over fellow 5YO gelding Ryan Mark (Thorn Park-Annalee, by Kingdom Bay) & 7YO gelding Ginner Hart (Volksraad-Lyford Cay, by Montjeu). This was the maiden Gr1 success for Kawi who took his record to 7 wins (including the Gr3 Taranaki Cup & Listed Anniversary Handicap) and 6 placings (including the Gr1 Easter Handicap) from 16 starts for NZ$324,850 earnings. Kawi will now attempt to do what no horse has ever done before by clean sweeping the Hawkes Bay Triple Crown when he contests the final two legs - the Gr1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) and the Gr1 Livamol Classic (2000m). "It's a great thrill and there's a bit of improvement in him," Sharrock told NZ Racing Desk. "This was the hardest one to win so I'm pretty confident about the other two [legs]." He added: "I probably should have put in a nomination for the Cox Plate as well, but the euphoria of that day might upset him. We'll wait for the Australian Cup in the autumn."