Innisfree Thoroughbreds owner Andy O’Shea and his wife Carol greeted Sandown winner Kakanui with mixed emotions on Saturday.
The Pakenham based breeders watched Kakanui claim the Sporting Club Hcp (1100m) on the Hillside course but the gelding pulled up lame. He was racing second-up after almost a year on the sidelines following knee surgery.
“He feels likes a horse that’s going to be better with a bit of sting out of the ground,” jockey Damien Oliver said after walking the winner back to scale. “It didn’t feel too bad and hopefully he can come back alright.”
Kakanui closed with a determined sprint to defeat Bella Mollie by a nose. He is by Eliza Park International stallion Statue of Liberty and is the first foal of Divine Princess (General Nediym).
The mare won in town at Caulfield and Sandown when trained by Mick Price and she has an unnamed 2yo colt by Artie Schiller.
Trainer Brendan McCarthy said he would make an assessment on the winner’s immediate future this week. “It was a pretty close finish but it was great to get there,” he said. “With any luck, it will be onwards and upwards from here.”
Statue of Liberty (Storm Cat) is standing at Eliza Park International for an $11,000 (inc gst) fee. He completed an interstate double when Liberty’s Gem won on debut at Belmont on Saturday.