La Crique set to get preparation back on track

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  • May 10, 2024
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La Crique set to get preparation back on track


Dual Group One winner La Crique will be on trial for a trip across the Tasman when she heads to Arawa Park on Saturday to contest the Gr.3 Rotorua ITM Stakes (1400m).

The daughter of Vadamos has been hampered by foot issues this season, which interrupted her spring preparation before she returned in summer to run fourth in the Gr.2 Westbury Classic (1400m) before winning the Gr.1 Otaki-Maori WFA Classic (1600m).

She was on target to tackle the Gr.1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie in March, but her foot issues resurfaced while having a freshen-up in the paddock, and her trainers were forced to withdraw her from the feature mile.

The Te Awamutu couple have subsequently worked tirelessly with their vet and farrier to overcome the issue, and they believe they are now on top of it and are hoping to target the later part of Queensland’s Winter Carnival with their mare.

“We were tracking along nicely immediately after the Otaki run. We decided to put her out for a little bit of a freshen to give her a week out of the box. In hindsight, if we hadn’t had done that, we might have made it to the Breeders’. When we lose control and the feet get a bit wetter, and we did get a bit of rain around that time, that was the downfall,” Katrina Alexander told Trackside.

“We worked very hard with the farrier and the vets and we appear to be on top of that at the moment. The foot is growing down really nicely now and we don’t have that wall space that we had before. At this point in time, we are all good.”

La Crique pleased her trainers with her trial over 1150m at Te Awamutu last week and are excited to see what she can do fresh-up before she heads to Brisbane.

“She had a nice trial here at Te Awamutu a week ago. She got back and came home nice and strong, which was nice to see her chase things down,” Alexander said. “All I really look at is her action and the way she goes about it – if she lowers and goes full stretch then that is all I can ask of her. I thought that was an attractive trial for where she was.”

Arawa Park was rated a Soft7 on Friday morning and Alexander believes La Crique will handle those conditions.

“I do believe she is going to handle a Soft track no problem,” she said. “In the past we have pulled her off Heavy tracks just because we have wanted to press on for the rest of the campaign. I think she will handle what is on offer.”

Alexander is hoping La Crique can put in a solid performance on Saturday that warrants a trip to Australia to see out her preparation.

“She has had a bit of a muddled prep but the runs we have gone for she has performed very well,” she said. “We know that when she is right, she has still got it. Because she hasn’t had a very taxing preparation to date, we can afford to go into this part of the season with her.

“We are not really interested in the spring for her at this stage because it doesn’t really seem to suit. If we can stretch her out a little bit now, it makes the preparation a bit more worthwhile and get a line on how she can perform over there.

“We did intend to be in Brisbane by now and perhaps miss this run, but it is just nice to give her a confidence run, for ourselves more than anything, and make sure she comes through a good, solid performance,” she said. “You would like to think she is right there amongst them at the finish to get on the plane to go anywhere.”

Alexander said they will take it race-by-race with La Crique but has identified some nice Brisbane targets for the mare.

“She is going to miss the ones that we had targeted,” she said. “The Hollindale (Gr.2, 1800m) was one of those and that is going to be run this weekend.

“When she goes over, which will be two weeks after her Rotorua run, and then she races another two weeks after that in a fillies and mares mile. It is worth a bit of money but doesn’t carry any black-type.

“It is just one race at a time for her, so we will pick the eyes out of it a little bit. We would always like to get her over more distance when we go to Australia, I don’t think she is best suited to distances against their sprinter-miler horses. We will just have to play that one by ear once we have got the first one under our belt.”

The broodmare paddock is beckoning La Crique, with the mare rising six-years-old, but Alexander said a decision on her racing future won’t be made until she returns from Australia.

“We are conscious of her age and the fact that she does have those two Group Ones under her belt and numerous other black-type placings,” she said. “She doesn’t really have much left to prove before being able to be a very successful broodmare, which I truly think she will be.

“It is a discussion we have had very lightly with the Cassins (owner-breeders) as to how far we take her and they aren’t into pushing her unless she is right. At her age, she is probably getting ripe for the broodmare paddock. We will be guided by her after we get this part of the season completed.”

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