(By John Jenkins)
Mark down Kali as a horse to follow in the early months of next season after her hugely impressive win in the $22,500 two-year-old race at today’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.
The Darci Brahma filly’s winning margin of 2-1/4 lengths flattered her rivals as she could have won by a lot more had rider Leith Innes extended her over the final stages.
Kali was making her race debut in the 1300m event but was coming off two trial wins, the most recent being a 1-1/4 length success over 800m at Matamata a month ago.
“We’ve always had a big opinion of her and we think she is pretty smart,” trainer Tony Pike said after today’s win.
Kali began well from the barrier and Innes was able to position her perfectly in the trail, behind the leader Stateline. He moved her up outside the leader coming to the home turn before taking control as the field straightened for the run home.
Kali showed tremendous acceleration to sprint clear and was being eased down by Innes as she neared the finish line.
The two-year-old filly is raced by Frontier Bloodstock, a company made up of Pike along with race commentator Bruce Sherwin and a couple of other close friends.
“We bought the filly privately,” Pike said, saying that she was just a very nice type.
He added that Kali is now likely to be turned out for a winter spell and brought back in for early three-year-old races next season.
Kali is by Darci Brahma out of the St Petersburg mare Race Empress and is a half-sister to Elusive Emperor (by Elusive City), who has been a seven race winner in Singapore.
Race Empress has also left the winners Royal Dominance (by Shinko King) and Majestic Empress (by Ekraar).