Group One performer La Crique is being set for a trip across the Tasman this spring where she will be aimed at some rich Melbourne targets.
Trainers Simon and Katrina Alexander have been weighing up between Melbourne and Sydney, with the A$10 million Golden Eagle (1500m) the major drawcard for a New South Wales visit, but the husband-and-wife duo are leaning towards heading to Victoria.
“It is either Melbourne or the Golden Eagle, and I don’t think 1500m is her ideal distance in Australia, she will want to compete a bit further than that,” Simon Alexander told Bensley.
“She will be coming to Australia in the spring, it will be just a case of when.”
La Crique impressed in her three-year-old term, winning five of her eight starts and placing in her three other outings.
She won the Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham in January before taking out the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and showed her talent when finishing runner-up against the boys in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m).
The daughter of Vadamos has been back in work for just over two months and her trainers have been pleased with the way she has returned.
“She had about six weeks pre-training doing a couple of things and has been back with us for about a month,” Alexander said.
“She looks to have strengthened and looks great.”
The Matamata trainers don’t have a concrete plan in place for the spring and might head straight to Australia without a run in New Zealand.
“We are seeing how she comes up in the spring,” Alexander said.
“She will kick-off either here or in Melbourne over 1400m and then we will see where we end up.
“With the carnival being put back at Hastings with COVID over the last two years, it makes it more difficult to give them more than one run here, if any, and then go over and settle in Melbourne and compete.”
While pleased with her progress to date, Alexander said she will need to have improved to compete in Australia this spring.
“They have got to do it again and they have got to improve a bit,” he said.
“She has grown a bit and has definitely strengthened up. We are pretty hopeful that she will come back a little bit better, but then you have got to travel and measure up in Australia. It is not easy.”
While still unsure of which races they will target with the rising four-year-old, the couple are eyeing some lofty targets, including the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m).
“We are just taking it week by week and not setting anything in concrete. We are leaving our options open,” Alexander said.
“I think a mile to 2000m, whether that is a mares race in Australia or something stronger, her form will dictate that.
“I think she is that type (Cox Plate) of horse. I am not saying she is good enough for that, but she will be nominated for the Cox Plate. That is the kind of horse I think she can be.
“I think she is a great 2000m horse – she has got acceleration and stamina, and can take a handy position if the tempo dictates. I think she will be exciting.”