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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


Updated: Jun 3, 2022

THURSDAY: June 2, 2022: TERRY Croft doesn’t mind trekking to Port Macquarie to win races – even if he has to do it twice in a few days for the one meeting.

The Hawkesbury trainer continued a “love affair” with the track, notching a double today with his only two runners.

And it was a double which had to be earned the hard way.

“We took the horses up on Sunday for the meeting which was initially scheduled for Monday,” Croft said on his way home this evening.

“But they weren’t able to race and the meeting was postponed until today, so we had to go back.

“But it was worth it.

“I like racing my horses at Port Macquarie; I’ve got a pretty good strike rate there.”

A pretty good strike rate indeed!

Croft’s double with Lady Lucilla ($2.10 favorite) and Just A Brother ($7) gave him five winners from only eight starters at the track.

The double also took his number of overall winners so far this season to nine, equalling his 2019-20 result.

Holy Roman Emperor filly Lady Lucilla (Grant Buckley) resumed from a spell to easily land the Maiden Plate (1006m) from Sonny ($5) and Lake Mac Lily ($11).

“Lady Lucilla’s owner bred the filly and is keen to win a few races with her, so it was good to get her off the mark,” Croft said.

“I didn’t trial her, but jumped her out twice.

“I wasn’t all that happy with her first jumpout, but she went super the second time last Wednesday.”

Croft had to find a new rider for four-year-old Just A Brother before he could claim his double.

He had booked apprentice Benjamin Osmond for the mount, but the youngster contracted COVID and was unable to ride.

As a result, Croft sought out another apprentice, Newcastle’s Shayleigh Ingelse, and she duly delivered.

“Just A Brother had 61.5kg topweight and I wanted a 3kg claimer to get weight off his back,” Croft said.

Just A Brother notched the third win (he has also been placed five times) of his 19-start career when he defeated Evocator ($3.40 favorite) and Mon Amore ($5) in the Class 2 Handicap (1506m).

“He has been hampered by either heavy tracks or bad barriers,” Croft said.

“Even though the track was rated a ‘Heavy 9’ today, it wasn’t that bad.”

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