THURSDAY: May 19, 2022: HAWKESBURY trainer Terry Croft took “pride” in his home track success today – and with good reason.
Croft landed The Royal Richmond Hotel CG&E Class 1 Handicap with $12 chance Straya Pride (Kathy O’Hara, who prevailed in a tense finish.
The four-year-old Denman gelding is the first foal of the Haradasun mare Harada Tat Tat, whom he trained at the beginning of her career and won a race with her at Bathurst.
Straya Pride was the widest runner on the home turn, and despite being bumped by another runner at the 300m, sustained a determined burst to edge out River Snitty ($4.20) and another Hawkesbury runner, Tommy Wong’s Fast Sagrado ($41), to post his second victory.
“Dave Gremmo and his brothers, who own Gremmo Homes, and a few friends raced Harada Tat Tat and also have this horse,” Croft said this evening.
“Straya Pride was very immature early, and keeps improving.
“He ran terrific time on a soft track when he won his Maiden over 1500m at Port Macquarie last November (beating Tiva Bay, who ran third in an earlier race today),” Croft said.
“He is a stronger horse now, and very honest.
“Kathy (O’Hara) gave him a good report, and I’m sure we can place him to win another race soon.”
Straya Pride was having his third start this campaign after finishing second first-up at Nowra on April 17 and then fourth at Hawkesbury on May 5.
Those races were over 1100m and 1300m, and fitted him to step up to 1400m today.
There was a touch of irony in Straya Pride’s narrow win as Dave Gremmo was in the ownership of two Sydney Cup winners Shraaoh and Selino, both trained by Chris Waller, who also has today’s runner-up River Snitty.
Croft clinched his seventh winner of the current season – and it may not be his last either.
“I keep chipping away, and have some nice horses in the stable,” he said.
One of them is the promising two-year-old Kandos Cosmos, who will have his second start at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Kandos Cosmos nearly caused a boilover on debut at $81 when narrowly beaten by Shalailed (a rival again) at Canterbury on May 4.
“He ran the fastest last 400m that day, and has trained on well,” Croft said.
Kandos Cosmos is raced by Mal Russell, who bought the Tale Of The Cat mare Cubic Cat in foal to Stratum Star – and the now two-year-old colt is the result.
Russell also raced the now retired eight-times winner No Escape, who was Croft’s last city winner at Rosehill on January 18, 2020 when a $31 roughie.
. Sydney’s form apprentice Tyler Schiller rode a treble on Willinga Rufio, Extraweird and Hit The High Note to take riding honors for the meeting.
But stablemate Tom Sherry still leads the apprentices’ premiership with five wins.
Tommy Berry picked up a late winning mount on Poseidon Jewel (Independent Liquor Group Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap, 1400m) to join Josh Parr as joint jockeys’ premiership leaders.
Each has ridden 14 winners at Hawkesbury this season.