Zaparri aimed at HK

YOUNG trainer Steve McKinnon wants to represent Australia in the Hongkong International races in April with the brilliant Zaparri, writes Danny Power.

Zaparri has burst back to prominence in sensational style after 18 months in the racing wilderness.

After winning the Seymour Cup in track record time, the gelding suffered from nagging leg problems that looked likely to end his career.

But McKinnon refused to give up and so far his diligence has been rewarded this year with Zaparri winning four of his five starts.

His only failure was in the Group One C.F. Orr Stakes at Sandown when he finished on the heels of the place-getters.

Since, he has won the Parkenham Cup (1,750 metres) in record time with 58kg, then stepped out last week and demolished a smart field in the Sale Cup (1,600 metres) again breaking the record with a run of 1:34.6, this time lumping 59kg.

McKinnon said yesterday: ''Zaparri's legs are 100 per cent. It was just a matter of time and now he's right back to his best.

''I've kept it to myself up to now, but right from the start of this campaign, the aim has been to get him to Hongkong. It would be a shame for him to miss out while in this form.'' Zaparri, who is known for his fast, front-running, has won 10 of his 36 starts for stakes of just under A$250,000.