FORMER star New Zealand jumper Te Kahu makes his Australian debut for the powerful Ciaron Maher-David Eustace stable in a $50,000 open steeplechase at Casterton on Sunday.
Te Kahu won the 2021 Great Northern Steeplechase in New Zealand and is still owned by passionate Kiwi jumps fans Dan and Jan O'Leary.
The lightly-raced eight-year-old trialled well over fences at Warrnambool on Tuesday.
Declan Mahar, brother of Ciaron, who oversees the preparation of jumps horses for the stable said Te Kahu had trialled well over the fences since coming to Australia.
"Dan and Jan set him over to us to see if he measures up to some of our feature jumps races," Maher told The Standard.
"We're pleased with how Te Kah is progressing going into Casterton.
"He had a good look around Warrnambool on Tuesday after a good trial at Traralgon and seems to have improved with those trials under this belt.
"Originally, we were thinking of running Te Kahu in the Thackeray Steeplechase at Warrnambool on Sunday week but we ended up thinking the Casterton race is an easier option.
"The Grand National Steeplechase is the race we've set Te Kahu for in this preparation. Willie McCarthy has the ride on Sunday and he's got a good understanding of Te Kah as he's done a lot of work on him at home."
Te Kah is rated a $5 chance in the early markets for the 3800-metre race.
The open steeplechase which is to be run at 2pm is one of three jumps races on Sunday's seven-race program. The first race is scheduled to start at 12.40pm while the last is at 4.40pm.
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