Hawkesbury Preview for Sat April 6 2024

IT’S not often mares rising nine years of age are still racing let alone performing as consistently as The Crimson Idol is currently. And her Hawkesbury trainer Marc Chevalier has a simple explanation as to why she is in good form. “She loves what she is doing,” Chevalier said this morning. “The Crimson Idol is so tough, and never leaves an oat of her feed.” Depending on improving weather conditions, the daughter of Hinchinbrook will line up for her 65th start at home tomorrow in the Richmond Club Benchmark 64 Handicap (1300m). The Crimson Idol is the fourth foal of the Noverre mare Ruth’s Secret, who had missed to Hinchinbrook the previous season. Chevalier took over The Crimson Idol in mid-2022 when her initial Wyong trainer Jeff Englebrecht retired. Englebrecht struck “pay dirt” early, winning three of her first seven starts in 2019, another two at Newcastle on soft ground in 2021 and a city breakthrough later that year at Royal Randwick.

Chevalier has won two races – both at home in November 2022 and February this year – with The Crimson Idol, and also has registered eight placings. Her overall record stands at eight wins and 17 placings for earnings of $267,805. Not bad at all considering she cost only $5000 when offered online in July, 2018. The Crimson Idol races in the colours of Chevalier’s good supporter, long-standing Penrith general practitioner Ulysses Crosson. The Crimson Idol’s last four starts (all on her home track) have yielded a win and three placings; the latest when a solid second to Khumbila in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m) on March 28. “I normally space my horses’ runs at least a fortnight, but it’s different with this mare,” Chevalier said. “That run was only nine days after finishing third at Hawkesbury in a Benchmark 68 Handicap (1300m), but she is doing so well that she is ready to back up again tomorrow provided the track isn’t too heavy. “The Crimson Idol has won on a ‘Soft 7’, but I wouldn’t fancy running her if the rain continues and Hawkesbury goes into the real heavy range.”

With Tyler Schiller, who has ridden the mare at her last two starts, being in action at The Championships at Randwick tomorrow, Chevalier has called on Hawkesbury apprentice Zac Wadick to take advantage of his 2kg claim. Wadick, who joined leading Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup, at the end of last year, is enjoying a benchmark season; 51 winners so far boosting his career tally to 104. Chevalier also is playing a “waiting game” with his Sydney Cup hope Torrens, who is scheduled to run in tomorrow’s Group 2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick. “I’m reluctant to start him on a heavy track as he pulled a muscle in the Chairman’s last year and couldn’t back up in the Cup a week later,” he said. “I will hold off until the 7.30am scratching deadline tomorrow before making a decision, but I have spoken with Torrens’ Singapore owner who is keen to start him in the Cup (3200m) next week. “Torrens has missed the last two Sydney Cups; a suspensory problem ruled him out in 2022.” If both Chevalier’s horses take their places, he will be at Randwick to saddle Torrens for his 1pm assignment and then head home for The Crimson Idol’s race at 5pm. Coincidentally, Torrens’ rider Jenny Duggan was a claiming apprentice when she scored on The Crimson Idol at Randwick in 2021.  Wadick has six bookings at the Hawkesbury fixture. He rides Noir Vitesse and Cool and Calm for his boss, Torie’s Rose for fellow Hawkesbury trainer Edward Cummings, Je Reve for Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou, and Soobooco for Newcastle’s Mark Minervini.

Article Credit: John Curtis