Kawi’s trainer Allan Sharrock believes weight-for-age conditions give him a crucial boost in his quest to take his first Australian Group One trophy back to New Zealand.
A field of 16 has been declared for Saturday’s $1 million Kingston Town Classic over 1800m at Ascot, the final Australian Group One race of the year.
Kawi was gallant in defeat in the Group One Railway Stakes (1600m) at the same track on November 19, finishing sixth when carrying 5.5kg less than winner Scales Of Justice.
“He was always going to find it hard in the Railway giving away so much weight, but he still went really well,” Sharrock told NZ Racing Desk.
“He’s got the conditions to suit and he’s in great condition himself.'”
Melbourne-based Kiwi jockey Michael Walker has been booked to ride Kawi and is expected to recover from an injury which will keep him sidelined for meetings in Victoria on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Hong Kong-based Douglas Whyte is set to return to Perth to partner the Lindsey Smith-trained Scales Of Justice who he rode to perfection to win the Railway ahead of the Chris Waller-trained Good Project.
Good Project, who is to be ridden by Hugh Bowman, is one of three Waller-trained runners along with Mackintosh (Damien Oliver) and Vanbrugh (Ben Melham).
Husband and wife training duo Grant and Alana Williams will also saddle up three chances – Railway Stakes third placegetter Perfect Reflection, Disposition and Neverland.
Stratum Star finished second in a barrier trial at Lark Hill in WA on Monday morning as trainer Darren Weir puts the finishing touches on his preparation.
Dwayne Dunn will head west to ride Tradesman, who was fifth in the Railway, for father and son trainers Robert and Todd Harvey.
Chris Parnham has the ride on the Lindsay Park runner He Or She while his brother Brad will be aboard Bass Strait for their father and trainer Neville.