By Tony Megahey
Young trainer Cameron Crockett, on a career high with the emergence of exciting dual city winner Nictock, is set to continue the momentum at Monday’s TAB Dubbo Turf Club meeting.
A strong eight-race program is the prelude to next month’s prestigious Dubbo Gold Cup raceday and Mudgee-based Cameron, and his accomplished training father Max, have leading contenders on a day that has drawn the region’s strongest stables.
The Cavanough, Thompson, Greig, Lundholm and Williams stables are out in force.
Cameron, who won with Nictock with Hugh Bowman aboard at Warwick Farm on Wednesday, rides trackwork for his stable and that of his father, has former Victorian Alexandra Demure in a Dubbo Gold Cup Calcutta Maiden (1120m). While Max is represented by performed sprinter Lancelot in the Gold Cup Prelude Flying (1120m).
Alexandra Demure, resuming from a five-month spell, is to be ridden by Rachael Murray and has the form to be the testing material with successive maiden placings at Mornington, Werribee and Bendigo. And significantly she was firm in the market in a Sandown midweek maiden in March where she was beaten three lengths by promising Good Oh.
“Yep, certainly good form for up here; she’s forward enough and has worked to run up to it in her right race,” Cameron enthused. “I’m really happy with her, without knowing what you can come up against in these country maidens.
“But those Victorian maidens usually have decent depth. She’s blossomed since she came back from a good spell. When she arrived she was frail, trained off and the long travel from the sale had an effect as well. So we turned her out for a good while and she’s come back, ready to break through sooner than later.”
And Cameron is the trackwork rider for Lancelot who has the impressive strike rate of 11 wins and nine placings from 44 starts.
“Marvellous old eight year-old, he was in the best form of his career last prep when he ran a close second at Warwick Farm; won a double up here, but he picked up a stone bruise and we spelled him.
"He’s trialled okay, but at this stage of his career the 1120m looks a touch too short. But his work has been good and if he takes up where he left off, you never know, because he’s so honest and tough.”
And what of Nictock, after winning impressively at $1.60 for Hugh Bowman at Warwick Farm on Wednesday following a Canterbury success?
“Hugh said he just wants to win, but after this is the class test whether he measures up to Saturday grade. But he’s six from seven, two in town, so we’ll be back in town in a few weeks for another midweek sprint. But this horse has genuine speed and like Hugh says a will-to-win.”