Torquay trainer Bryce Stanaway has all but ruled Crafty Cruiser out of Monday’s 2015 Adelaide Cup with a Flemington run this weekend a preferred option for the galloper.
One of 21 nominations taken for this year’s $400,000 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville next week, Good Journey seven-year-old Crafty Cruiser received 53kg for the Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival feature.
Adelaide Cup weights are led by the Darren Weir-trained favourite Taiyoo (59kg) who won last Saturday’s Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) at the track in his South Australian debut.
Crafty Cruiser meanwhile is on the 53kg minimum, but Stanaway still thinks the gelding is weighted out of contention meeting the likes of Lord Reims Stakes runner-up Lucky Lucky Lucky on the same weight.
Instead he is looking at staying in Melbourne for the horse’s incredible 78th career run naming the $120,000 Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) at Flemington Racecourse on Australian Guineas Day this Saturday as the preferred option.
“Unless the (Adelaide) Cup field drops right away, we’re not going,” Stanaway said this week.
“It’s a badly handicapped race.
“And it’s too expensive (to travel) – why would we go to Adelaide when we can stay here in Melbourne and race for $120,000?”
Crafty Cruiser has had four previous runs over the 3200m for two thirds, one in the 2013 Sandown Cup and the other in the 2012 Andrew Ramsden Stakes.
Racing Victoria took 20 nominations for the Roy Higgins Quality this year, including doubtful starter Taiyoo (60kg) who will be saved for his Group 2 debut in the Adelaide Cup, with Crafty Cruiser allocated 54kg.
While that is a kilo extra than he would have in Adelaide a couple of days later, Stanaway believes the class of his rivals in the Listed race makes it a preferred option for Crafty Cruiser who has had just one previous Flemington win from 24 starts at Victoria’s premier track.
It has been a little while between drinks for Crafty Cruiser, who is sure to start at generous odds through Ladbrokes.com.au in the Roy Higgins, with his last victory being over 2500m at Moonee Valley in August last year.
Two back he ran second to now Adelaide Cup top fancy Taiyoo over 2400m at Sandown-Hillside on February 7 before a disappointing 10th when finishing well down the track, beaten over 19 lengths by Sir John Hawkwood in the Hilton Nicholas Benchmark 90 (2000m) at Flemington a fortnight later.
His trainer remains unperturbed though and believes the horse will be improving greatly off that run.
“He’s actually going all right,” Stanaway said, warning punters not to leave Crafty Cruiser out of the mix completely.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for the official Melbourne race fields out later today.
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