A strong run of form through the winter set Kaharau up for a second shot at the New Zealand Cup.
Last year’s New Zealand Cup ended in disappointment for Kenny Rae, but the popular trainer is quietly confident of a different outcome on Saturday.
In partnership with his wife Lisa and their daughter Krystal Williams, Rae saddled Kaharau for a seventh placing in the $250,000 staying test 12 months ago.
But the son of Ad Valorem raced strongly at his home track of Ruakaka through the winter and has mostly held his form since then, winning two of his last four including a convincing last-start win in the Banks Peninsula Cup.
“He had to win his last start to justify taking a shot at the Cup,” Rae told www.theinformant.co.nz. “If he hadn’t won there, we would have lowered our sights and gone for a Rating 85 or an open handicap somewhere else. But he did the business that day and here we are.
“I’m pretty bullish, actually. I think he can be very competitive. Last year we were playing catch-up with him all through his preparation. This time I think we’ve got him right where we want him. Everything’s on track and hopefully he’ll go really well.”
The TAB rates him a $14 chance in the Cup, with the market headed by last-start Lexus Stakes placegetter Pentathlon ($4.20) and the well-bred pair of Imperium ($5) and Gobstopper ($5).