IN Racing
La Crique on song for Queensland debut
It’s been a long road to get to Queensland with dual Group One winner La Crique, but trainers Simon and Katrina Alexander are relieved they are finally there.
Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | June 06, 2024
La Crique will commence her Queensland campaign at Eagle Farm on Saturday. Photo: Race Images

It’s been a long road to get to Queensland with dual Group One winner La Crique, but trainers Simon and Katrina Alexander are relieved they are finally there.

The Te Awamutu conditioners have crossed the Tasman with their stable star, who will kick-off her Queensland campaign in Saturday’s A$500,000 Magic Millions National Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm.

The daughter of Vadamos had been hampered with foot issues, which the Alexanders believe they are now on top of, and they were pleased with her resuming runner-up performance behind Karman Line in the Gr.3 Rotorua Stakes (1400m) at Arawa Park last month.

“I felt it was one of her strongest 1400m that she has run,” Katrina Alexander said. “It has never been her greatest distance, it has always been her fresh-up run and she has always kicked on second-up after that very well. That is our line of thought for what we are doing here.”

Alexander has been pleased with how La Crique has settled into her new environment at Ian and Kerry Taplins property on the Sunshine Coast, and is confident of a good showing this weekend.

“She flew over on the 25th (of May), so she has had a good time to settle in here. She is up on the Sunshine Coast staying with the Taplins, and they have been absolutely brilliant,” Alexander said.

“We are really happy with how she has been since she has been here. It is nice to feel that you are progressing on, which is brilliant.”

While La Crique has missed the early part of the Queensland carnival, Alexander is looking at the silver lining, with plenty of feature races still in their sights.

“We missed the part of the carnival that we thought we would initially come over for,” Alexander said. “We have got everything right at home and she was in pretty good shape in not having done a lot during the season at home.

“We thought that we would take on this end of the carnival with her instead and we are pleased with the decision to bring her over. Hopefully she can put two or three races together.

“We thought she slotted quite nicely into that (Magic Millions National Classic) with the conditions and the distance against the fillies and mares, so that has worked out quite nicely.

“We will just see how she comes through the race and see what options we have. We are toying with the idea of the Tatts Tiara (Gr.1, 1400m). We have got no end goal or end finish date at this point over here.”

La Crique has had just the one prior start in Australia, when finishing fourth behind compatriot Icebath in the Gr.1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) at Flemington two years ago. As with her Flemington outing, La Crique will have the services of leading Sydney hoop James McDonald aboard this weekend.

“It is great to have him (McDonald) onboard again,” Alexander said. “I am hoping he finds a horse that is better set for a race than last time, she didn’t travel that well last time, where this time has been completely different.”

Meanwhile, Alexander was pleased earlier in the week to see stablemate Trouvaille breakthrough for his maiden win at just the third time of asking in the NZB National Weanling Sale 2024 (1400m) at Te Aroha on Monday.

“He is a horse that we have always known was a nice galloper,” Alexander said. “Being a Vadamos, he has just taken that bit of extra time and he has really started to mature, both mentally and physically in the last little bit.

“It was nice to get a win under his belt and we will pop him aside and let him develop a little bit more and hopefully we get a nice season as a four-year-old into him. I think he just needed that little bit of age on him.”