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Young apprentice breaks up Spurcraft combination

By Glenn Davis

The long running association between Toowoomba flyer Spurcraft and jockey Les “Bubba” Tilley will end when apprentice Adin Thompson takes the mount at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

Tilley has ridden Spurcraft at his past 14 consecutive starts for nine wins but it all ends with the booking of three-kilogram claiming apprentice Adin Thompson in the Coastline Open Handicap (1000m).

Thompson’s claim reduces Spurcraft’s weight to 56.5kgs compared to topweight Tarzan who will lump 61kgs with the claim for leading apprentice Baylee Nothdurft.

The Charlotte White-trained Spurcraft won first-up in the Listed Bribie Handicap (1000m) at Doomben on December 7 before an out of character performance when sixth in the Listed Falvelon Quality (1200m) at Eagle Farm two weeks later.

The six-year-old proved the form wrong when he carried 59.5kgs to finish a much improved second to the Kelly Schweida-trained Guard Of Honour over 900 metres at the Gold Coast on January 4.

“We had a look at all factors why he was beaten at his past two runs and we felt we needed to claim on him this time,” White said.

“He appeared to have every chance at Eagle Farm but he did cop a bump at the start and he’s never been to Eagle Farm before.

“I’ve heard from a few trainers that some horses need to have a run at Eagle Farm first.”

Spurcraft confronts a strong field over the 1000-metre dash headed by track specialist Tarzan who has won 10 of his 17 starts at Caloundra.

Tarzan also holds an incredible record over 1000 metres winning 14 times in 26 starts while Spurcraft has won five of his seven starts over the trip.

All of Tarzan’s 10 wins over 1000 metres were on his home track at Caloundra.

Spurcraft has started only once at the Sunshine Coast when he beat former top mare Tumbler and Stakes winning mare From Within over 1000 metres on Australia Day last year.

White is hoping the weight relief Spurcraft receives will be to his advantage in toppling Tarzan and co.

In latest TAB markets, Spurcraft is a $3.00 favourte with Tarzan at $4.60 with Guard Of Honour splitting the pair on the second line of betting at $4.40.

White will see how Spurcraft performs before deciding his next target.

“We’ll see what happens tomorrow first but we might end up tasking him to Sydney,” she said.

Racing Queensland webnews    January 24