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Jess Taylor takes over on Kawaikini

Trainer Jason Coyle is hoping Jess Taylor can forge another profitable partnership with one of his stable’s mares when she takes over the reins on Kawaikini.

Taylor was in the saddle when Slightly Sweet enjoyed a run of success last July with victory in the Listed Winter Stakes either side of third placings in the Listed Civic Stakes and Winter Challenge.

“Jess had a bit of luck for me with Slightly Sweet and the other day at Randwick with Takewing,” Coyle said.

Taylor takes the ride because Kawaikini’s regular jockey Kathy O’Hara is suspended and Coyle expected a smooth transition.

“She relaxes well off a nice tempo. It’s just a matter of having a little bit of luck once we balance up,” he said.

Kawaikini runs in Saturday’s Benchmark 81 Handicap (1200m) at Randwick, where Coyle believes she can continue a consistent preparation.

Backing up a fortnight after a third over 1200m at Randwick where she was blocked for a run in the straight, Coyle said he would instruct Taylor not to let Kawaikini settle at the tail of the field.

“Last start we ended up second last,” he said.

“If we can be a pair closer then terrific. She’s in good form but her racing pattern over the 1200 suggests she needs that little bit of luck.”

Coyle is also interested to see how Speed Hero handles another step up in distance to 1800m in a Benchmark 82 Handicap after taking four runs to build up from 1250m.

“His form looks moderate this prep and we’re probably a shade disappointed he hasn’t had a win or a top three,” Coyle said.

“Once again we fall into a race that’s got good tempo for that distance and if he can switch himself off with a bit of cover somewhere he can close strongly late.”

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