IN Racing
Crocetti heads for a spell
“He can have a good spell now and prepare for a four-year-old campaign.”
Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | February 14, 2024
Crocetti pictured with trainers Danny Walker (left) and Arron Tata, and breeder-owner Daniel Nakhle following his Gr.1 NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) win. Photo: Race Images

A line has been ruled through an Australian autumn campaign for Crocetti, with the son of Zacinto heading to the spelling paddock after a standout three-year-old term.

Trainers Danny Walker and Arron Tata were contemplating heading to Melbourne next month with the Group One winner but have elected to call time on his season following his runner-up effort behind Bonny Lass in last Saturday’s Gr.1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa.

“We did look at the Australian Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m) and then I thought maybe the Newmarket (Gr.1, 1200m) with 53kg on his back was quite appealing as well, but we have decided to send him to the paddock for a spell,” Walker said.

“He is 100 percent and has pulled up really well, but I just felt he peaked on Saturday, and he has had seven runs as a three-year-old.

“He can have a good spell now and prepare for a four-year-old campaign.”

Bred and raced by Daniel Nakhle, Crocetti won his sole start as a juvenile before returning as a three-year-old where he was undefeated in his six starts against his own age group, including the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m), Gr.2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial (1400m), Gr.3 Almanzor Trophy (1200m), and Gr.3 Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).

He was then tested at weight-for-age for the first time last Saturday, and put in a gutsy performance to finish second behind Bonny Lass.

“He has done us proud, and he tried his guts out the other day,” Walker said.

Looking back fondly on a satisfying season with Crocetti, Walker said he will start planning his spring campaign in the coming months, with a high likelihood of heading straight across the Tasman with his charge.

“It is all up in the air, but it comes down to weather and track conditions here, especially in the spring,” he said.

“I will sit down in the next couple of months and do my homework. If it is going to be too wet here, then he will probably go straight to Australia. We will just see how he comes up and how the weather plays.”

Meanwhile, Walker is enjoying breaking in the six yearlings he purchased at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale, including two colts from Book 1.

Under his Brookby Stables banner, Walker went to $170,000 to purchase lot 605, the Sweynesse colt out of Group Three performer Bella Court, and $210,000 to purchase lot 126, the Zed colt out of a half-sister to the dam of Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner Verry Elleegant.

“The Sweynesse is a lovely colt, we are breaking him in at the moment,” Walker said.

“The Zed is a nice horse. I have never looked at a Zed yearling before but a client of ours wanted me to have a look at him. He could pass for a Savabeel, he is a really lovely colt.”

danny walker and arron tata Crocetti Daniel Nakhle Brookby Stables Zed Sweynesse