Khemosabi is lone ranger in finish

Cambridge trainer Paul Gordon was having mixed feelings after his bold grey galloper Khemosabi completed a double when easily taking the Hawke’s Bay Master Plumbers Handicap at Hastings today.

Though obviously thrilled to see Khemosabi win again after recapturing his best form at Riccarton earlier in the month, Gordon was wondering what might have happened if he had pressed ahead with a late entry for today’s Gr.1 Makfi Challenge Stakes, won so impressively by Survived.

“He should have been running in the Makfi,” said Gordon. “After he won at Riccarton I toyed with the idea of throwing in a late nom for the Makfi, but then decided against it. If I’d known the track was going to be as wet as this, I’d have done it.”

Khemosabi won last year’s Waikato Stud Opunake Cup then finished third behind Art Beat in the Gr.3 Estaronline Winter Cup at Riccarton, but ran last in the Makfi Challenge Stakes when striking a dead track. He remained off the winners’ list until his recent Riccarton success.

“He’s no good on a dead track or anything better because he hasn’t got that acceleration needed,” said Gordon. “He likes loose tracks and this was perfect for him today. He got an easy lead whereas sometimes he has to work hard to get there.”

David Walker has been aboard Khemosabi in both his recent wins and he was impressed with the eight-year-old’s performance.

“He’s a free-going type and very head-strong and you just have to go with him,” said Walker. “He got to the line really well today.”

Khemosabi had the race won early in the home straight when let loose by Walker. He put five lengths on his nearest rival and he kept up a solid gallop to score by three lengths from Whoshe.

Gordon is unsure what he will do next with Khemosabi, though he will consider a late entry for the Gr.1 Windsor Park Stud Plate at Hastings in three weeks, provided the wet weather holds.