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  • Provincial Racing NSW


KEMBLA Grange trainer Theresa Bateup has decided to back up outsider Crackalacka at Royal Randwick tomorrow as she chases easily the biggest payday of her 20-year career.

Pleased with Crackalacka’s performance in the $500,000 The Four Pillars Midway (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens two days ago and her subsequent progress, Bateup at this stage sees no impediment to starting her in the $3m The Big Dance (1600m).

“Crackalacka ran really well when ninth in the big field in The Four Pillars, and so far has come through the race well,” she said this morning.

“She is looking for a bit further now, and the rain has ensured a suitable soft track tomorrow.

“Obviously with such big prizemoney on offer, it’s not going to be an easy assignment, but she has a nice draw.

“Hopefully she can finish in the ‘Top 10’ (prizemoney being paid down to 10th placing).”

Crackalacka was beaten only three and a half lengths in the Four Pillars, and RacingNSW stewards reported she had to be eased approaching the 1100m when crowded between two other runners.

Whilst Crackalacka is at big odds, she has a habit of performing well above the manner in which her starting price might have suggested.

Crackalacka, who began her career with leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees and raced six times for him (including a 1400m Mudgee breakthrough in April 2021) before joining Bateup’s team, also was a roughie ($26) when she qualified for The Big Dance by landing the Moruya Cup (1425m) in January.

Again she was a $31 bolter when third in a home track heat of the Provincial-Midway Championships (1400m) the following month.

Apprentice Molly Bourke rode her in both races, and also in the Four Pillars – and has the mount again in The Big Dance, though she is unable to use her 3kg claim because of the rich purse on offer.

Provincial trainers have three representatives in the $3m feature – and all are women.

Wyong’s Sara Ryan and Kim Waugh will be represented by Attractable (Regan Bayliss) and Camaguey (Tom Sherry) respectively.

Attractable qualified by landing the Coffs Harbour Cup (1600m) in August, defeating subsequent Wildcard winner King Of The Castle, and then made the running when an excellent close fourth to Big Dance co-favorite Cepheus in the $1.5m Alan Brown Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on October 7.

Ryan kept the gelding up to the mark with a 1200m Beaumont barrier trial 17 days later, and he seems certain to again give a ton of cheek.

Camaguey clinched his spot by winning the Mudgee Cup (1600m) last December, and whilst fitter for two runs this campaign, has to overcome a very awkward draw in the capacity 20-strong line-up.

Wyong apprentice Anna Roper is a late booking for Unamerican in The Big Dance, and will be hoping to go one better than when overhauled in the closing stages by Newcastle’s Dylan Gibbons (Sweet Mercy) on trainer Kristen Buchanan’s Oakfield Waratah in the Four Pillars.

That defeat became an even bitter pill to swallow when Racing NSW stewards later imposed a $1000 fine for using the whip on 10 occasions (five more than permitted) before the 100m.

. Illawarra Turf Club hosts its customary Cup day meeting tomorrow with a nine-race program beginning at 12.45pm.

Course manager Dave Anderson this morning posted a ‘Heavy 10’ rating following 137.5mm of rain in the past week. The rail is 7m out for the entire circuit.

*Story John Curtis, November 6, 2023 - Pics Bradley Photos*

Michael Craig’s selections are:

Race 1​-2 Andalus has a class edge on opposition

7 Girl With Balloon good effort first Aust. start

6 Unowho city winner 2 starts back

Race 2-9 Callistemon racing well this preparation

14 Can Expect Greater finished strongly on debut

10 Djapana fitter for 2 runs back


Race 3​-3 Taipan Legend better suited today

11 Galaxy Field good effort at first start

2 Joyrider will benefit from one run back

​ ​​

Race 4​​-2 Joey D’or looks an improving type

10 Tigon Princess appears ready to go

​​5 Close Encounter overlook last start

Race 5​-2 Show No Fear easy recent trial winner

3 Code In Time great chance on debut

4 Fire Tribe had handy form last time in work

Race 6​​-1 Akaka Falls should improve sharply

​​4 Flower Press expect to go well fresh

3 Zenti good effort when resuming

Race 7​-3 Cable Tie backing up after no luck at Gosford

11 Pink Cashmere big chance again

12 Gold Dust narrow winner at second race start

Race 8​-5 Iverson has hit peak form

6 Bully For You determined winner last start

3 Jumeirah Beach fitter for 2 runs back

Race 9​-8 Shuri very impressive on debut

5 Imran flashed home late at Scone

2 Sawrey continues to perform strongly

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