The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
After a controversial week in the headlines and a late stable change, former Queensland-trained Crack Me Up put in the ideal 2018 Doncaster Mile trial winning the Group 3 $150,000 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Royal Randwick.
Formerly with Brisbane’s Liam Birchley, the Kiwi-bred Mossman four-year-old Crack Me Up arrived in the stables of Warwick Farm horseman Bjorn Baker in the early hours of Thursday morning.
“He arrived at 5:07 on Thursday morning,” Baker’s stable representative Jack Bruce said post-win on Saturday.
“We’ve just kept him ticking over. He turned up looking magnificent and raced accordingly today.”
Connections made the call to send the gelding to Baker after Racing NSW refused to accept any nominations from Birchley who is caught up in the Aquanita racing scandal.
Baker will now train the progressive gelding across the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and looks to now have a genuine contender for the Group 1 $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 7 during ‘The Championships’ in his care.
“Today was always a stepping stone into the Doncaster,” Bruce confirmed.
“The plan was to let him find his feet and rattle home.”
Not noted for flashing home first-up, Crack Me Up saluted fresh for the first time on Chipping Norton Stakes Day back racing for the first time since his disappointing ninth at the Gold Coast in mid-January’s $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m).
That followed his mid-December Royal Randwick success in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m), a performance that earned him an early Doncaster Mile 2018 ballot exemption.
Jockey Jason Collett was aboard for the Villiers Stakes success and reunited with Crack Me Up, a $16,000 bargain buy, in the Liverpool City Cup where the galloper stamped his Doncaster Mile credentials with an authoritarian run.
Collett had the galloper switched off third-last as the field was led around by the Kim Waugh-trained Oxford Poet and Gai Waterhouse’s Magic Millions Cup runner-up Arbeitsam.
Hot favourite in the Liverpool City Cup was the Matthew Dunn-trained Magic Millions Cup champion Care To Think, the So You Think four-year-old chasing a seventh straight win.
Heading into the home straight jockey Jeff Lloyd took the top fancy Care To Think into third, moving the galloper boldly up on the outside to hit the lead 250m out from the line.
Really challenging was Mark Newnham’s returning six-year-old Burning Passion getting a nice run on the inside, before Crack Me Up came from nowhere to move up and take the late lead.
Crack Me Up ($17) held to defeat the well-supported favourite Care To Think ($2.45) in an upset Liverpool City Cup result.
Rounding out the trifecta in third was Burning Passion ($15), while Chris Waller’s dual Oaks winner Egg Tart finished an encouraging first-up fourth.
The latest all-in Doncaster Mile odds at Ladbrokes.com.au now list Crack Me Up as a $17 chance, while the beaten Liverpool City Cup winner Care To Think is still shorter at $13 with improvement to come.
“On the back of that we can plot our way to the Doncaster,” Bruce confirmed.
Collett was also keen on Crack Me Up’s chances in the Doncaster Mile next month describing the first-up win as “soft”.
“He was probably never going to get beat the way he travelled into the run,” he said.
“Quite soft in the end really.
“Geez he looked a million dollars…he’s come to Bjorn’s in pretty good order.
“On a performance like that, I’m not sure what sore of improvement there is in him, but getting up to a mile he’s done it before.
“He’d be one to look out for [in the Doncaster Mile].”
To back Crack Me Up next race and to access the best Doncaster Mile 2018 betting odds this autumn visit Ladbrokes.com.au.
2018 Liverpool City Cup Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 5 – 03/03/2018
|1||2||CRACK ME UP (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||Jason Collett||–||2||59kg||$17|
|2||3||CARE TO THINK||Matthew Dunn||Jeff Lloyd||0.5L||11||58.5kg||$2.50F|
|3||9||BURNING PASSION||Mark Newnham||Joshua Parr||0.7L||1||57kg||$14|
|4||6||EGG TART||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||1L||6||57.5kg||$11|
|5||10||OXFORD POET||Kim Waugh||Jay Ford||3L||10||55kg||$41|
|6||7||INTERLOCUTER (USA)||James Cummings||Tye Angland||3.2L||8||57.5kg||$8.50|
|7||5||MCCREERY (GB)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||3.6L||7||58kg||$51|
|8||11||ARTLEE||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||3.7L||4||54.5kg||$9.50|
|9||12||BURRADOO||Mick Miladinovic||Ms Jess Taylor||4.2L||12||53kg||$101|
|10||4||MACKINTOSH (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4.5L||9||58kg||$13|
|11||8||ARBEITSAM||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||4.7L||5||57kg||$6|
|12||1||BOSS LANE||Ron Quinton||Andrew Adkins||5.6L||3||59kg||$31|
|–||13||MISHANI HONCHO||Shane Edmonds||–||–||0||–||–|
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