Crocetti on song for Northland Breeders’

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  • August 16, 2023
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By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Exciting three-year-old Crocetti will put his unbeaten record on the line when he returns to Ruakaka this weekend to tackle the Gr.3 Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).

The Danny Walker and Arron Tata-trained gelding won on debut as a juvenile before winning first-up at Ruakaka a fortnight ago and will return to the Northland venue this weekend to have his first crack at stakes level.

Walker is excited about the prospects of the Zacinto gelding and believes the forecast conditions will be ideal for his charge.

“He has come on since the race and we are very happy with him,” Walker said.

“He has got a lot of natural, raw ability and he just keeps improving the older he gets.

“The weather should be reasonable and the track should be pretty good. I am looking forward to it.”

The Northland Breeders’ Stakes has been a great launching pad for many successful racing careers, with the honour roll including Group One winners Licketysplit, Imperatriz, and Catalyst in recent years.

Walker is keen to add Crocetti to that list but will have to overcome Group Two winner and $1.90 favourite Trobriand this weekend to do so.

The Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson-trained colt has drawn the ace marble, while Crocetti will jump from gate six, but that doesn’t faze Danny Walker.

“I don’t see the draw being a problem. He has got gate speed and he is pretty easy to ride, you can ride him where you like,” he said.

The Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November remains the clear target for Crocetti, but Walker has yet to finalise a path toward the Group One.

“After Saturday he is going to be sitting on the fence for a few weeks and wait for the tracks to improve,” he said.

“We will find other races for him leading up to the 2000 Guineas, that is everybody’s target for a three-year-old, but we will play it by ear after the weekend.”

While thrilled with what he has seen so far from Crocetti, Walker still has his feet firmly on the ground, knowing his gelding will be met by some sterner opposition this spring.

“He is going to strike better horses as he goes along, but that is when they need to step up. We think he has got the ability to do it,” he said.

Walker will also line-up Reverberations in the Champion 2YO Sword Of State (1300m).

“He went a nice race first-up, but he didn’t get a lot of luck,” he said.

“It might be a tad bit short for him, but he has got a good draw (1) and a claim, so if he gets the right sort of run he will be a chance.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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