Friday, 1 June 2012
: Trainer Brett Crawford says he couldn't have asked for better from hot favourite Jackson in the run up to Saturday's G1 Daily News 2000 at Greyville where he will be out to justify his high rating for South Africa's premier race, the Durban July.
Jackson is a firm favourite for the Vodacom Durban July in just over six weeks' time but Crawford is not getting ahead of himself with the exciting three-year-old.
“At the end of the day this is the race we came here to win and he's ready," Crawford said.
"You can't go into these Grade 1 races half-baked. We'll worry about the Durban July after this.
"It's never easy to win the Durban July though that must be his big goal for the end of the season.'Jackson
has done just about everything asked of him after failing to land a coup in his debut. He reeled off four successive wins culminating in a brilliant win in the Investec Cape Derby at Kenilworth on Met Day before his second to Variety Club in the KZN Guineas last time out.
The Guineas run pleased Crawford immensely.
“That was a great run over a distance that was too short for him. He's now seen Greyville and 2000m is exactly what he's looking for,' he said.
“He's doing well and I'm confident of a huge run on Saturday.'
With a small field – only nine runners will line up in the G1 race – there is often a false pace but Crawford is not too worried about that.
“I'm sure there'll be a fair pace,' he said. “He can hold a position and we'll see what happens from there.'
Jackson was a R1 million purchase and Crawford says he is “a lovely, well-mannered horse. He's big, very athletic and easy to work with – a trainer's dream.
“He showed from the beginning that he was something special. He did everything so naturally and with so much ease that we knew we had a very nice horse on our hands.
“The more he raced, the more he showed us."
Crawford will also saddle Paddock Stakes winner Thunder Dance
in the R500,000 Woolavington 2000, but is not nearly as confident about her chances.
“Unfortunately, we didn't have the start to the season we wanted and have been playing catch-up. At this level, you need a flawless preparation so, although she is very talented, she's got a lot to do.'
Thunder Dance had to be scratched from the KZN Fillies Guineas as well as missing a few days' work.
“She's only had one run in Durban and needs a bit of racing to get match fit. Whatever happens on Saturday, she'll come on with the run," Crawford said.
Alec Laird won the Daily News 2000 with the great London News in 2006 before going on to win the Durban July and has the same hopes for Royal Bencher
after his dead-heat with Pomodoro in the SA Derby on April 28.
“The Daily News will be an opportunity to show him the track," said Laird.
“It will be a preparation run and will show us how many lengths we will need to find on Jackson.
"I will be happy if we finish within six lengths of Jackson.”