By Ray Hickson
Speedy mare Reprimand’s unbeaten record for trainer Cameron Crockett goes on the line at Warwick Farm on Wednesday and he warns those doing the chasing will need to be on their game to catch her.
Reprimand has had three starts for Crockett, with Mathew Cahill in the saddle on each occasion, over short courses and won them by a total of 14.95 lengths.
She returns to her former home track (being ex-Bjorn Baker) for the ANZ Bloodstock News Handicap (1000m).
“Mathew has ridden plenty of fast horses and when he got off her at Wellington he said she could be the fastest,’’ Crockett said.
“I think that’s her asset so if they want to chase her they can chase her.
"I’m happy to have her, she’s about as good as I’ve got.’’
Reprimand is a full sister to stakes winner and Group 1 placed filly Fiesta and her owners knocked back an offer to buy her after Fiesta’s Flight Stakes placing last month.
As rapt as Crockett is to be training the five-year-old he says she’s very high maintenance and the owners are now being rewarded for their perseverance with her easy wins at Dubbo and Wellington.
“I think they’re enjoying the horse more than they would if they cashed in,’’ he said.
“They’ve experienced the lows and highs in racing with this horse. I think they knew she had a fair bit of ability at the start.’’
Prior to taking over from Baker, she was caught up in the barriers in a race at Newcastle and Crockett said the experience probably knocked her confidence around.
And it was back to the drawing board after the mare’s planned debut for the new stable at Narromine in early February.
“We gave her a trial and she was okay, then another trial and she went fair but then she flipped over in the barriers at Narromine on race day,’’ Crockett said.
“She’s not without her problems, she had a lot of mental issues when she came to me. I think we’ve curbed all that because the other day at the trials at Orange, Mathew Cahill said she loaded up like a professional and away she went.’’
To give some insight into how much work goes into keeping Reprimand on her game, Crockett said when she works she’s taped, wears bandages and boots to keep her mind on galloping.
Reprimand hasn't raced since her six length Wellington win on September 10 but was due to come to Sydney for the October public holiday meeting at Randwick. After she pulled up a bit stressed following one of her final gallops the cotton wool had to come out again.
Reprimand's easy all the way win at Wellington on September 10
“She’s got a mind of her own and she knows when she’s right,’’ he said.
“You walk a fine line with her and if you push her over the top she’s more than likely going to be in the wrong head space.
“I train her very quietly and keep her fresh. She’s a funny horse, when she’s fresh she behaves better than when she’s not feeling well.’’
Crockett will start dual accepted stablemate Meraki Miss in the Bowermans Office Furniture Handicap (1200m) over the 1400m option.
Meraki Miss, also ex-Bjorn Baker, carried 60.5kg to win over 1000m at her second start for Crockett at Orange on October 15 and while he’s convinced she will run as far as a mile he finds the shorter race attractive at this stage.
And he clearly believes she has the ability to be winning races at midweek level.
“If she’d have won her second run at somewhere like Kembla instead of Orange you’d put her in and no one would think twice,’’ he said.
“Nothing else went past the leader expect her and she had 10kg more. I think it was a mighty effort and I think she has improved on it too.’’