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Crusader shaping up for Everest fight

3 minute read

Masked Crusader attracted punter support for the $15 million The TAB Everest after a sensational barrier trial win at Rosehill Gardens on Friday.

Article taken from the 'racenet'.
Article taken from the "racenet".

The Team Hawkes-trained Masked Crusader was kept under a tight rein but accelerated brilliantly to race clear of Villami to win his 900m heat in fast time.

It might have been only a trial but Masked Crusader could not have been more visually impressive and TAB Fixed Odds reported the sprinter was the only horse backed on Friday for The TAB Everest, run at Royal Randwick on October 16.

"Masked Crusader's trial wasn't missed by some of our punters," a TAB fixed odds spokesman said on Friday.

"He was the only horse backed to win The Everest today and remains firm at $8."

The Hawkes stable also had promising three-year-old Hilal (third) and Cups contender Mount Popa (fifth) trial well in the 900m heat won by the talented Chris Waller-trained colt, Home Affairs.

Waller's stayers Dashing Willoughby and Kukeracha also showed surprising dash to win their 1000m trials.

Dashing Willoughby, who hasn't raced since finishing well back in Twilight Payment's Melbourne Cup last year, edged out dual Group 1 winner Montefilia in his heat win.

Queensland Derby winner Kukeracha got the better of the Richard and Michael Freedman-trained Love Tap while comeback stayer Il Paradiso, who hasn't raced since his third placing in the 2019 Melbourne Cup won by Vow And Declare, ran on well for third.

Waller also sent Horse of the Year elect Verry Elleegant and top mare Hungry Heart over to Royal Randwick on Friday morning to gallop on the course proper ahead of their return to racing in the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at that track next Saturday.

Warwick Farm trainer Annabel Neasham also took advantage of the Randwick course proper gallops by working Winx Stakes-bound Mo'unga and outstanding stablemate Zaaki, while The Everest contender Gytrash also had a gallop as trainer Gordon Richards readies him for a likely return in The Shorts next month.

Godolphin trainer James Cummings has only entered four of his crack three-year-old team for the Group 1 $1 million Golden Rose next month – glamour colts Anamoe, Ingratiating, Paulele and Brigantine.

The winner of a lowly midweek maiden winner, Brigantine gets the chance to prove he is deserving of the stable's lofty ranking when he contests the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes at Kembla Grange on Saturday.

Ingratiating, a placegetter in the Blue Diamond Stakes and Golden Slipper last season, resumes in Saturday's Vain Stakes at Caulfield.

Cummings used the same Caulfield race to launch Bivouac's successful Golden Rose campaign two years ago.

Godolphin drew first blood in the three-year-old division this season when Paulele scored a brilliant first-up in The Rosebud last week.

Form guru Gary Crispe of Racing And Sports also suspects this season's three-year-olds are a very talented group, particularly in the sprinting ranks.

Crispe said Paulele's impressive win in The Rosebud last week provided a good insight into what we can expect form the three-year-olds during the spring carnival.

"Paulele ran a sizzling time of 1:01.98s for 1100m and whichever way you slice and dice it, he produced a high-quality combination of overall time and sectionals," Crispe said.

"Another smart type Remarque, expected to be better at three, was obviously unlucky not to finish closer, but I don't think he would have won as the closing sectionals show Paulele gave his rivals windburn.

"Paulele has the right profile to go on with it at three especially after such a dominant win carrying a weight penalty."

Crispe said often young horses like Paulele who may not have been quite ready to compete with the topliners in their juvenile seasons catch up quickly as three-year-olds.

"History is always a window to the future, so we can again expect some of the less mature juveniles at two, catching up, ability wise, at three," Crispe said.

"The pressure will be on the high rating performers Stay Inside and Anamoe to maintain their dominance at three."

Crispe said the Up And Coming Stakes has often been a good guide as to which horses have taken those "giant steps" as three-year-olds.

"For example, last year's winner North Pacific went on to run a narrow second in the Golden Rose while the 2017 renewal had subsequent Group 1 winners Ace High and Trapeze Artist," he said.

"In 2016, the race was equally significant producing Caulfield Guineas winner Divine Prophet and Victoria Derby winner Prized Icon."

Crispe said the outcome of the Up And Coming Stakes at Kembla Grange on Saturday will provide another useful piece of the three-year-old puzzle.

"There were enough positive signs from last season's two-year-olds to expect them to prove well up to standard this spring," he said.

Nature Strip, the early favourite for The TAB Everest, is the only Australian-trained galloper in the top 10 of the Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings this year.

With a 124-rating earned after his brilliant TJ Smith Stakes win at Royal Randwick during The Championships in April, Nature Strip is currently equal fourth on the world rankings with American star Knicks Go and English champ Mishriff.

Godolphin's Adayar, winner of the English Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and Coolmore's crack colt St Mark's Basilica, who defeated Addeybb and Mishriff in the Eclipse Stakes, are equal first with a 127 rating.

Eduardo is the next highest Australian-trained galloper with a 121 rating that ranks him equal 11th alongside the likes of English champ Addeybb, winner of successive Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick.

5 years ago

Divine Prophet, trained by Team Hawkes, finished powerfully to beat Derryn and Thronum in the Up And Coming Stakes. The brilliant colt trained on to win the Caulfield Guineas later that spring. Hall of Fame jockey Damien Oliver won his third Lawrence (formerly Liston) Stakes when Miss Rose De Lago scored first-up at Caulfield. Oliver also won the race on Whobegotyou (2011) and Le Zagaletta (2001).

10 years ago

The Ron Leemon-trained Manawanui toyed with his rivals to win the Up And Coming Stakes. Manawanui then defeated Smart Missile in the Golden Rose. The talented Whobegotyou, trained by Mark Kavanagh, was an impressive first-up winner of the Lawrence Stakes.

20 years ago

Newquay gave champion jockey Brian York a record fourth win in the Up And Coming Stakes. York had won the race previously on Zariz (2000), General Nediym (1997) and Our Maizcay (1995). Champion trainer Lee Freedman won his second Lawrence Stakes with the grey Le Zagaletta. He prepared Mahogany to win the race in 1994.


Online article taken from the racenet, published on Friday, 13th August 2021, Author, Ray Thomas.

Racing and Sports