Crocetti impressive on debut

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  • February 20, 2023
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Byerley Park trainers Danny Walker and Arron Tata look to have a smart juvenile on their hands in the form of Crocetti, who was successful in the Dad’s Pies 1100m at Pukekohe on Saturday.

The son of Zacinto bounced well from an inside gate under jockey Sam Spratt and never looked likely to be run down, going on to score by just over three lengths over There Goes My Hero in a race that looked to have depth.

Crocetti was one of a brace of winners on the day for owner and breeder Daniel Nakhle, who was later in the winner’s circle care of Volare scoring in Rating 65 company.

An easy trial winner back in October, Crocetti was sent out a $5.40 second elect and fronted on raceday after a sale had fallen through.

“We were pretty confident with him going into Saturday,” Walker said.

“He went shin sore and we decided to turn him out after his trial win. There was an offer on the horse and the money never came through.

“We decided we were going to turn him out and give him a little break. When we brought him back into work we just got happier and happier and happier with him.

“Daniel and I sat down and he said he wasn’t that keen on selling the horse and he thought we should just race him, so it was great to see him win so well on debut.”

Nominated for the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni on April 1, Walker said he was not keen to overtax the youngster as a two-year-old.

“It’s an option but he probably won’t have many runs as a two-year-old. He is a lovely type of horse and just a racehorse,” Walker said.

“He is quite mature and strong but we don’t want to burn him out and I think he is going to make a nice three-year-old.

“We will get through the next week and then make a decision what we do with him. He may even go back to the paddock, we will just see.”

Walker and Tata have 18 horses in work at Byerley Park, the South Auckland training facility owned by the Nahkle family.

“We are very fortunate that he let us have this horse to train,” Walker said. “Daniel is a huge supporter of racing. We need a few more Daniel Nahkles in the game.”

Those who followed the recent Karaka Sales results would have copped the free tip that Walker was keen on the youngster, when the trainer went to $250,000 to secure his half-brother by Pride Of Dubai under his Brookby Stables banner.

“I really liked the Pride Of Dubai. I had seen him as a weanling and as a yearling going through the system before he went to Haunui Farm to go to the sales. I thought he might be out of our reach,” Walker said.

“I missed out on a horse earlier in the sale that I was keen on, and I was delighted to get the Pride of Dubai for $250,000, knowing how well Crocetti went.

“It is a good family. It’s a winning family,” Walker said of the colt who is out of Gracehill, a sibling to Group Three winners Killarney and Crosshaven.

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