Kokopu has plenty to live up to if he is to match the deeds of his half brother Pounamu in Perth, but it got off to a successful start in the Ramelius Resources Trophy (1400m) at Ascot this afternoon.
The five-year-old was having his first look at the Ascot track, after a solid first-up win in WA at Pinjarra on April 27, and connections would have been pleased with what they saw today.
Similarly to Pounamu, Kokopu’s career started with Allan Denham in Sydney, before being transferred to Alan Mathews.
Since coming to Perth, Pounamu has won a Group 1 Kingston Town Classic, along with a Group 2, Group 3 and Listed race win, and Kokopu produced a performance on Saturday that suggested he could feature in some feature races in time.
Jockey Patrick Carbery was able to get the gelding one off the fence slightly worse than midfield from barrier six, as the well-fancied Cash On Call took up the running.
Carbery was able to find the back of Grooveshaker on the turn for home and get the perfect trail into the race.
The gelding then loomed ominously at the 200m mark, and quickly finished over the top off his rivals to record a one length win.
Mathews said he didn’t expect Kokopu to reach the heights of Pounamu, but was still pleased with what he had produced in WA.
“He’s done his job,” he said.
“On his last run at Pinjarra, you would have expected him to come here today and be very competitive.
“The owner doesn’t put any expectations on them, he just lets me do what I want.
“What worried me was the big distance between his good form and his bad form.
“I think he will only get better.”
Mathews confirmed Pounamu would trial on Monday, ahead of a three start campaign which entails three Group 3’s; the Belmont Sprint, Hyperion Stakes and Strickland Stakes.
The veteran trainer also confirmed a trip to Melbourne during the spring was on the cards.