“He’s got me baffled.”
It’s not a bad sentiment coming from a trainer about his winning horse, but Cameron Crockett is the first to admit his rising talent Andy’s A Star has “all sorts of tricks”.
The Starcraft (NZ) x Annie’s Logic gelding gave his Country Championship aspirations a boost on Sunday when he won the Pat Donoghue’s Birthday Celebrations Class 2 Handicap (Scaled -0.5KG) over 1320 metres at the Dubbo Turf Club
He underwent a number of gear changes for his eighth career start – ear muffs (pre-race only) off first time, pacifiers first time, tongue tie first time and winkers first time.
There could be more in his future.
“He’s a bit of a thinker. He’s got all sorts of tricks,” Crockett said.
”We changed all his gear around today because he was laying out and now he laid in, so we might need to change them again.”
But what those changes might be? Crockett couldn’t say.
“He’s got me baffled.”
Andy’s A Star (Mathew Cahill, $2 favourite) jumped well from barrier three and settled into fourth outside Podium Bound (Ken Dunbar, $31), while Cheryl Crockett’s mare Balmain Girl (Rhiannon Payne, $71) jumped straight to the lead alongside Ready’s Queen (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $101).
Audio Bay (Anthony Cavallo, $31) swept past and across to settle on the inside in third, with Cahill drawing Andy’s A Star level before starting his move coming into the home straight.
He veered in slightly, bumping Balmain Girl momentarily but neither horse was too affected, and Andy’s A Star looked to find another gear with 200m remaining.
Under Pressure (Greg Ryan, $3.40) lived up to her name, challenging the favourite’s run home as did his own stablemate Barbass (Grant Buckley, $4.80).
But Cahill proved his star quality to clinch the 0.65 length win over Barbass, delivering Crockett the quinella, with Under Pressure only 0.84 lengths back in third.
“He’s done a pretty good job,” Crockett said of Cahill’s ride.
“He did what I wanted on the horse and the horse is very difficult.
“It helps to have those good riders on.”
He’s targeting both Andy’s A Star for the Central District Racing Association’s Country Championship qualifier at Mudgee on March 3.
Crockett thinks Andy’s A Star is a chance to take out the heat, but admitted “we’ve got to sort a few things out before then”.
He also warned Andy “might struggle to beat” Barbass, who carried the top weight 63 kilograms – four more than his stablemate.
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