Princess caps Kavanagh year
BY his own admission Mark Kavanagh has had a year to remember.
The likeable trainer, who boasts Group One performers Divine Madonna, Maldivian and Devil Moon as his stable stars, has gone from strength to strength in 2007 with five victories at Group One level.
Toput that into perspective, Kavanagh sits alongside Lee Freedman and David Hayes for Group One winners in 2007, second only to Gai Waterhouse who trained eight Group One winners in the calendar year.
On Boxing Day at Caulfield Kavanagh will aim to end the year on a great note with victory in the Listed Lord Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield with Princess Marizza.
If Princess Marizza is successful on Wednesday it will be Kavanagh’s 15th stakes winner for 2007.
It’s been outstanding,’’ Kavanagh said in reference to the year he has had.
It’s been by far and away my best year as a trainer.’’
Princess Marizza returned to form last weekend at Flemington when winning a 1600m Mares Handicap by three lengths with Stephen Baster in the saddle.
The win coincided with a return to her most effective racing style after she sat near the speed at Moonee Valley the start before and was well beaten.
I was pleased with her win last week,’’ Kavanagh said.
She’s got to be ridden back like that and come around them. She just has to swoop,’’ he said.
So from barrier 12 on Wednesday expect Baster to drop the mare back in the field and wait for the last crack at them in the straight.
She’s come through (her last run) very well,’’ the trainer said.
There’s a few horses in the race going well. It’s a pretty even field and I would say Sharkbite would probably be the favourite. But I feel she’s right around them as one of the chances.’’
Sharkbite was an impressive winner of a 1700m Open Handicap at Flemington last weekend, defeating Poised To Win.
Meanwhile, Kavanagh said Group One winners Maldivian and Devil Moon were back in the stable at Flemington while his other Group One winner Divine Madonna will be back in the stable in mid-January.
Tipungwuti, the Group Two Tulloch Stakes winner whose spring was cut short through injury is also back in the stable getting ready for 2008.
With that, Kavanagh hopes to continue on his winning ways next year— a year which could see the trainer taking Divine Madonna to England’s Royal Ascot.
I’m particularly looking forward to doing well again (in 2008) like last year,’’ Kavanagh said.
Hopefully we can continue going like we have this year.’’