Outright favourite Craftiness has been scratched from the 2015 Hawkesbury Rush that will be held this afternoon after the track was downgraded to a heavy nine.
Craftiness has previously shown that he is capable of performing well on a rain-affected surface after he took out the Byron Spurling’s Last Stand Handicap (1050m) at Doomben on March 28 and finished second in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 18 on soft tracks, but trainer Joe Pride told Sky Racing HQ this morning that he did not want to give the Starcraft gelding another tough run on a wet track ahead of a potential trip to Queensland for the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
“He has already had a couple of runs on a heavy track and I didn’t want to give him another gut-buster,” Pride said.
“We still have some big assignments for him this preparation and I figured it wasn’t the right pathway to keep running him on these really wet tracks.”
Craftiness has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) that will be held at Doomben next weekend, but Pride confirmed that the four-year-old would not make the trip north and would instead contest a race at Rosehill Gardens over 1350 metres.
Pride said that he is unsure how Craftiness will handle the step-up to 1350 metres, but he is hopeful the progressive sprinter will show that he is worthy of a shot at Group 1 level in races like the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 23 and the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) on June 6.
“I think that he will go to Rosehill,” Pride said.
“I only want to take him to Brisbane for a certain amount of time and he has already been there this prep.
“I am going to put him over 1350 next week at Rosehill and find out how he goes at that trip, so it is an important run for him.”
Pride still has the favourite in the 2015 Hawkesbury Rush in the form of Diamond Oasis, who has performed well without winning in two race starts since returning to the races this preparation.
Diamond Oasis is currently available at Hawkesbury Rush odds of $3.40 from Dothraki ($3.80), Hot Snitzel ($4.20), I’m All The Talk ($8), Zaratone ($8.50), Haussmann ($16), Hurrara ($19) and Straight Gold ($31).