IN Racing
La Crique snares Queensland feature
High-class Kiwi mare La Crique put her best foot forward when pulling clear of her rivals in Saturday’s A$500,000 Magic Millions National Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm.
NZ Racing Desk | June 09, 2024
La Crique winning at Eagle Farm on Saturday. Photo: Grant Peters

High-class Kiwi mare La Crique put her best foot forward when pulling clear of her rivals in Saturday’s A$500,000 Magic Millions National Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm.

Prepared by Simon and Katrina Alexander, the lightly-framed daughter of Vadamos took her time to balance up under champion hoop James McDonald before her class prevailed, defeating Foxy Freda and Maracana by just over a length.

A dual Group One winner at a mile, La Crique was perfectly placed in the lucrative weight-for-age feature, with the 110 rated mare rated 8 points superior to her nearest rival.

Katrina Alexander was pleased to see La Crique find the winner’s circle in Australia, with her only other appearance in the lucky country resulting in a fourth placing in the Gr.1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) when a strong favourite in 2022.

 “I feel like we let the punters down in Melbourne [in the Group 1 Empire Rose], so to come back and do that was a big thrill and it’s nice to get a result,” Alexander said.

“We knew she was well-placed, weight-for-age races seem to suit her and she’s performed well in them in the past. Stepping up to the mile second-up after her first-up run back home also ticked the right boxes for her, so it was good placement.

“If this race wasn’t on offer we might have been scratching our heads wondering which race to come for, but we can build on this now and we’re in no rush to take her home. I’d love to put together a couple of races over here, and we’re mindful we’ve missed the hot end of the carnival. I’m thrilled for the owners, and I’m thankful to James for sticking with her.”

Alexander said they will now ponder what to do next with the five-year-old mare, with the Gr.1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) on June 29 not a confirmed target.

 “We don’t have to do a lot with this mare, she’s incredibly clean-winded. As you can see, there’s not a lot of her so we’ll have a nice quiet week to ten days with her now before slowly building her up again,” Alexander said.

Winning jockey James McDonald said he was concerned in the run.

“I thought she was out of play at the top of the straight, she hit a big flat spot and I didn’t think we were going to get out of it. But when I gave her a reminder with the left, she found a bit so it was a good effort to win,” he said.

By Rich Hill Stud stallion Vadamos, La Crique is raced by her breeders, John and Jan Cassin, who also raced her five-time winning dam Destiny Cove.

From 20 starts La Crique boast eight wins and eight placings and advanced her career earnings to A$1,211,829 after Saturday’s win.