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Iamishwara Unlikely To Defend Opunake Cup Crown
Defending champion Iamishwara (Keeninsky-She's Heroic, by Clay Hero) is no certainty to chase Opunake Cup success again this season with Tony and Nicky Kaye focused on more Gr1 glory, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Keeninsky 5YO gelding had six days in the paddock after his uncharacteristic failure in the Listed Ag Challenge Stakes (1600m) at Wanganui last month, a performance the Kayes were keen to forget after the horse fought rider Robbie Hannam for most of the race. "We don't blame the horse for that run," Nicky Kaye said. "He sometimes doesn't go so well at Wanganui and we know he's much better than that. He had six days off after that and he's good. He's just ticking over nicely at the moment. We're happy with him. He looks fantastic." The Kayes will monitor the weather leading into the Listed Opunake Cup (1400m) at New Plymouth on July 15 but won't be tempted to run Iamishwara under top weight on a heavy track. "We'll think about it but with the way the weather is at the moment, I'd say it's unlikely," Kaye said. "Tony is thinking he'll just stick to the Group races with him." Among the Group targets the Kayes have in mind for the Gr1 WFA Classic & Gr2 Awapuni Gold Cup winner is the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown, kicking off with the Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings on 29 August. The Kayes are hoping Lisa Allpress, currently riding in Japan, will be home to take the mount through the series.