Swettenham Stud bred gelding Khemosabi ran the race of his life to claim the LR Opunake Cup (1400m) in Taranaki on Saturday.
Khemosabi (6g Commands – Geordoba by Cordoba) races for owner-trainer Paul Gordon and went straight to the front before slipping away from the field at the 600m mark. He extended to win by more than five lengths from G1 winner Time Keeper (Stravinsky).
Swettenham sold him for $50,000 as a foal at the 2006 Inglis Melbourne June Sale to NZ pin-hooker Monovale Farm. His dam Geordoba is a South African bred mare who won stakes races at the old Newmarket and Gosforth Park racecourses.
Geordoba also foaled Swettenham graduate Zyzxx (Danehill) who was a stakes performed Melbourne sprinter for trainer John Moloney.
Cambridge based Gordon will now set Khemosabi for the G3 Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton on August 4. “I wasn’t entirely confident leading into the race,” Gordon said. “He didn’t manage the sticky track at Ellerslie last month but I still gave him a chance because his work on the heavy ground at Cambridge had been very good.”
Gordon named the grey gelding after a TV western from the 1960s. “My favourite television show as far back as I can remember was the Lone Ranger. His Indian offsider Tonto called him Khemosabi and I thought that would be a great name for a racehorse.”
Khemosabi won second time out at Te Rapa in November 2009 and was on his way to Gai Waterhouse until the vets examined his x-rays. “He’s had a few minor issues but nothing serious. We eventually sent him to Sydney and he won a Kensington race with Joe Pride. But he jarred up on a very firm track over there and we brought him home.”
Khemosabi has won 5 races in 21 starts for over $113,000 in stakes. Monovale Farm has a draft of three lots in NZ Bloodstock’s Winter Sale on August 3 including the stakes placed mare Take the Cake (Kashani). She has been served by Sir Percy and is catalogued as Lot 37.
Swettenham graduate wins the Opunake Cup