John's joy continues
By Adam Hamilton
WHEN managing owner Michael Guerin pushed for a Breeders Crown raid with Kratos a couple of months back, trainer John Dickie had mixed emotions.
Firstly he wasn’t sure the young Kiwi trotter was quite good enough and then came some pride from Dickie around protecting his “perfect” Breeders Crown record.
That’s why Dickie pointed all the credit Guerin’s way after Kratos won last night’s $80,000 Group 1 Crown final for three-year-old trotters, albeit on controversial protest circumstances.
It was Dickie’s fifth Breeders Crown final win from just the five finalists.
“I won two with Paramount Gem, one with Flying Isa, another with Speeding Spur and now this one,” he said. “I joked when Mick said about bringing this guy across that I had a perfect record to protect.
“I have to say it was Mick’s idea to come. We know he’s not the best back home, but Mick said the best Kiwis weren’t going to Australia and we should give it a shot.”
Guerin watched the race on his phone in the USA where he’s away on business.
And it was a dramatic watch with Kratos being second across the line but gaining the race on protest when the stewards deemed the leader All Cashed Up should be demoted to second for galloping in the last two or three strides.
Opinions were certainly divided on the protest with varying outcomes from similar scenarios over the past two years in Victoria.
As an aside issue, it’s now crucial for the sport to remove any “greyness” around the situation and set a firm and clear rule when horses gallop late in races.
HRV chief steward Brett Day said of last night’s protest: “It was a very difficult decision. It happened so close to the line and even though Glen (Craven, driver of All Cashed Up) restrained his horse, we felt All Cashed Up did maintain his position and it warranted reversing the result.”
Guerin tweeted: “Really feel for the connections of All Cashed Up, that’s a bloody tough way to lose a Group One. But we are thrilled for little Kratos to win a Breeders Crown and pay back all the hard work from John and Josh Dickie along with Sammy Kilgour, who looked after him so well … “
Things panned out superbly for Kratos early when Hatchback galloped behind the leader and driver Josh Dickie was able to drop to the marker pegs and trail All Cashed Up, which left hot favourite Majestuoso – known for his speed not stamina – in the worst possible spot for him outside the leader.
“He got the perfect trip, but when he came to hook around Majestuoso, that horse drifted up the track and probably cost him getting past All Cashed Up and winning the race without needing a protest,” Josh Dickie said.
All Cashed Up team of Yabby Days, trainer Anton Golino and driver Glen Craven were privately seething after the protest result.
They had some well-deserved compensation later in the night when untapped juvenile trotter Im Ready Jet won his Group 1 Crown final by a big space.
“This one feels good after what happened earlier,” Craven said. “This filly went awesome. She jogged it in. It was just a matter of trotting all the way, because she had it won at the 400m. She’s something special.”
Craven then capped the night by winning the last race, the Group 2 4YO Mares’ final, with the Courtney Slater-trained Goodtime Heaven in strong all-the-way style.
“Courtney’s done a great job to get her back from a year out. Things went her way when she led tonight and she won it really well after getting some pressure in front,” Craven said.