Levi's Group One Debut

 

Levi Kavanagh saddles up his first Group 1 runner on Saturday when Kentucky Breeze takes his place in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.

It’s a strong field with the likes of Mystic Journey and Mr Quickie who are battling it out for favouritism, but Kentucky Breeze has been performing well in his lead up races and has earnt his place in the race.   

“There’s a few stronger horses in there but he’s been running his best races at 2000 metres this preparation and while he’s in form he deserves his chance to race at the top level,” said Levi.

“He has certainly earnt his place in the race, his lead up runs have been great and I believe that he has not reached his top quite yet.”

After successive wins at The Valley over 2040m, Kentucky Breeze finished fourth in the Group 3 JRA Cup last Friday night where the lack of pace and inside draw were against him.

“I thought the JRA Cup would be a nice lead-in race and I had intended backing him up if everything was OK and he’s come through really well.”

“His sectionals were great and if we had been able to sit up where we wanted to be, maybe the result would have been different.”

The five-year-old son of Pierro will jump from barrier six tomorrow which will suit him perfectly and inform jockey Jamie Kah is back on board.

“Jamie knows him well and recently won a Group 1 on Gatting against a similar field, so he is in good hands.”

The winner of the Turnbull Stakes gains a ballot exemption into the Caulfield Cup on October 19. Levi is banking on fitness and Kentucky Breeze’s ability to run a strong 2000 metres at his favourite track to secure a start.

“The plan a long way out was to nominate for the Caulfield Cup and if we were to get into the race then this would be his ticket.”

“Starting in the Caulfield Cup is the dream, but at this stage in his preparation we will just take it week by week.”

Levi also has his talented three-year-old colt Excess Funds returning to the races tomorrow after a short freshen up.

“He (Excess Funds) pulled up with a virus after the Vain, I gave him a spell at our farm for a couple of weeks and he has come back really well, he won a recent jump-out in easy fashion.”

“He is a progressive young horse with a lot of talent. I’m really looking forward to getting him back to the races and hopefully into bigger and better races this Spring.”

 

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