Emily Farr has finally convinced New Zealand trainer Kenny Rae into a career change for evergreen stayer Kaharau.
The nine-year-old gelding won his 2000m Open Hurdle trial at Cambridge on Monday, impressing both rider and trainer.
“That’s the first time I have ever seen him jump. I was quite pleased with him,” Rae said of the stakes winner, who won 14 races on the flat.
“At this stage he is going to go to Ellerslie on Saturday or Ruakaka on the 19th (of June), and he is going to Hastings for a maiden hurdle race (on July 3).”
Jumping has revived Kaharau’s racing career, with the son of Ad Valorem previously being sent to the retirement paddock.
“He was given away and came home and we brought him back into work to get the two-year-olds going down on the beach,” Rae said. “He did a few trips to the races with the young horses as a mate.
“He has had a lot of races, but he just loves being in work. Emily has always had a high opinion of him.”
Farr had been educating Kaharau alongside Gobstopper for a jumping career two years ago, however, Rae had a change of heart and decided to continue to pursue flat racing with his gelding.
Farr said the two stayers couldn’t be separated on their jumping ability and Gobstopper went on to perform at the highest level in Australasian hurdle racing.
The former Group 3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) winner was victorious in his sole hurdle start in New Zealand before heading across the Tasman where he won the Brendan Drechsler Hurdle (3500m), Galleywood Hurdle (3200m), Australian Hurdle (3900m), and Kevin Lafferty Hurdle (3200m).
Farr believes Kaharau has got just as much ability and she is delighted that she has finally convinced Rae to follow a jumping path with his pride and joy.
“I had them both around the same time. They were very much on par the whole way through and then Kenny Rae decided he wasn’t going to jump him (Kaharau) until now. I have twisted his arm,” Farr said.
“I feel that Kaharau is a horse that you can put pretty much anywhere in the field, whereas Gobstopper was one that always had to be quite positive and forward. If anything, Kaharau is easier to ride than Gobstopper.
“It (jumping) gives him another aspect of his career. He had massive ability on the flat and it’s easy when they jump well as well and show that they want to do it.
“When you have won 14 races on the flat and you know that they stay and he has jumped very well all the way through from when he first started jumping the little logs, it is very exciting.
“I have worked with him the whole way through (with jumping) and I am very privileged to have the ride on him. He is like Kenny’s child, so for him to trust me with him is something I am very appreciative of.”