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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


MONDAY: May 13, 2024: IT’S fair to say emotion will be plentiful if debutante Cryptonic makes a successful debut at his home track at Hawkesbury tomorrow.

Co-trainer Lucy Keegan-Attard knows all about the colt’s pedigree as he prepares to line up in the Blakes Marine 3YO Maiden Handicap (1100m).

“Lucy rode both Cryptonic’s sire Encryption and dam Laussel during her time at Godolphin,” husband and co-trainer Jason Attard said this morning.

“And this time I knew about the purchase,” he added, tongue-in-cheek, a reference to last Wednesday’s Warwick Farm winner Stars And Bars, a $20,000 Magic Millions buy who arrived from the Gold Coast at their property without him being “in the picture”.

“Lucy was in England visiting family during a COVID period when Cryptonic was bought for $52,500 at Book 2 of the Magic Millions yearling sale in 2022,” Jason Attard explained.

“Obviously she couldn’t be there, but had the support of Magic Millions’ Ben Culham (who also assisted her in securing Stars And Bars) and Suman Hedge Bloodstock.

“Cryptonic is a nice big colt and we have taken our time with him.

“He has shown good ability in all his three trials have been good, and we’re hoping for improving track conditions to start him off on our home track.”

Sydney’s champion apprentice Zac Lloyd has partnered Cryptonic in his trials (a second at home over 800m on October 16 last year and wins, again at home over 800m on April 16, and at Randwick a fortnight later over 742m).

However, he is required for one of his master James Cummings’ Godolphin runners, Exosphere filly Giza (who won a 793m Warwick Farm on April 26), and Tyler Schiller steps in.

“Tyler rides jumpouts and work for us, and we’re pleased that he was available to ride Cryptonic,” Jason Attard said.

Cryptonic is from the first crop of the superbly-bred Encryption (by the recently deceased champion racehorse Lonhro from the four-times Group 1 winner Guelph), who was Queensland’s champion first season sire in 2022-23.

The colt is the first foal of the Animal Kingdom mare Laussel, who first win was at Hawkesbury in October 2017, and she also won at Newcastle and Canterbury.

Team Attard also runs another Schiller ride Proceed in the Pink Finns 4YO & Up Maiden Plate (1500m).

“Proceed has had three runs back at 1300m (twice) and 1400m, and the 1500m suits better, and we feel he will manage even further,” Jason Attard said.

“He was in the last race at Goulburn last Tuesday, but we pulled the right rein in not going as there was a lot of rain and the meeting was called off after the fourth race.”

Stablemate Zahdi is sixth emergency for the Clarendon Tavern Benchmark 64 Handicap (1300m) and drawn awkwardly to boot.

Fellow Hawkesbury trainer Jason Clisby has taken a break and handed over the training of his recent Gosford runner-up Big Shooter to Phil and Tara Vigouroux.

The Shooting To Win four-year-old, who has been placed at three of his eight starts, has his first run for his new stable in tomorrow’s XXXX Gold Midway 4YO & Up Maiden Handicap (1300m).

Grant Buckley, who rode the gelding when beaten by Tartana in a similar 1200m race at Gosford on Anzac Day (third placegetter Meerut won at Newcastle last Thursday), has the mount again.

“I sold my roofing business and intend leaving later this week to travel around Australia,” Clisby said.

“Big Shooter went to Phil and Tara’s stable last week, but I won’t be able to see him run tomorrow as I have to go to hospital for a minor operation before heading off on Thursday.”

Big Shooter will race in a lugging bit for the first time.

RacingNSW stewards have approved late gear changes for both Sizzling Taleards qa

rail is out 2 metres from the 1100m to 450m, and in the TRUE position for the remainder of the circuit. Course manager Kyle Cassim posted a “Heavy 9” rating at 8am today, with a penetrometer reading of 6.23.


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