Plan B for La Crique

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  • January 31, 2023
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Simon and Katrina Alexander are feeling a sense of déjà vu with their quality mare La Crique.

Her spring preparation was hampered by wet weather and the Matamata trainers have been met by the same fate this summer.

They elected to withdraw La Crique from the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday after the track was downgraded to a Heavy10.

While disappointed about bypassing the mile feature, the Alexanders are trying to find the silver lining, believing the trip down south has benefited their mare.

“It would have been nice to have been able to run her but kicking off her campaign we didn’t want to do it on that type of ground,” Katrina Alexander said.

“It is frustrating. It is not that she doesn’t handle wet tracks, it’s just that we don’t want to do that to her.

“Craig (Grylls, jockey) was happy with the decision, he was quite adamant that we didn’t need to do that (run). By the time he had ridden in a few more races he walked past me and said I had done the right thing.

“The owners were happy about the decision too. The horse comes first, so collectively we were happy with the decision that was made.

“This is her first trip away since Melbourne. She has travelled away beautifully, she has eaten everything in sight and has had quite a lovely experience.

“It hasn’t done her any harm, it would have had the benefit of bringing her on slightly without having to race.”

Alexander has now set her sights closer to home with La Crique, with the Gr.1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa next Saturday her next likely target.

“It most likely looks like we will head across to Te Rapa,” she said.

“The fact that it is a home venue and then she can go on to the WFA Classic (Gr.1, 1600m) at Otaki, and then we will reassess things after that.”

With wet conditions hampering La Crique’s second consecutive campaign, Alexander said they have toyed with the idea of basing the mare across the Tasman.

“It is not actually the racing on the heavy tracks that has almost tripped us up, it is the training on those surfaces all the time as well and the daily grind,” Alexander said.

“Are you really going to get a chance to get a campaign together on top of the ground and are we going to get this continuing each racing preparation?

“We talked last time (spring) about whether we should go straight to Queensland, and there is also the option to spell her in Australia if we chose to do that and start every preparation from scratch in Australia rather than kicking her off here.

“There are a lot of options, you have just got to be able to think on your feet and have a plan B.”

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