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White hopeful Spurcraft can book Sydney and Brisbane campaigns

By Glenn Davis

Clifton school principal Charlotte White hopes Spurcraft can become her first interstate runner if the five-year-old can complete back-to-back wins in the TAB Open Handicap at Doomben on Saturday.

White is keen to send Spurcraft to Sydney for the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on March 9.

A win in the Challenge Stakes will automatically qualify Spurcraft for the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 23.

“I’ve never taken a horse to Sydney before but if Spurcraft can win again on Saturday he’ll go down for the Challenge Stakes,” White said.

“The Challenge Stakes winner automatically qualifies for The Galaxy so he’d have to win to get in as I don’t think his rating is high enough at this stage.”

White is delighted with Spurcraft since he beat a smart field including the Sydney-bound Tumbler and From Within over 1000 metres at the Sunshine Coast on Australia Day.

“It’s three weeks between runs but that won’t bother him,” White said.

“His work last Saturday morning was excellent and as good as he’s ever done.

“He pulled up in terrific order after he won at the Sunshine Coast and the shorter track at Doomben is going to suit him better.”

White hasn’t ruled out returning Spurcraft for the Brisbane winter carnival after he completes his Sydney campaign.

“It depends how far he goes through the Sydney carnival but I’d like to come back with him for the winter carnival here,” she said.

“He’s never won over 1200 metres but he’s only been over it once when he was placed at the Gold Coast early in his career.

“He’s a different horse now and we found he can settle off the speed when he was unlucky to get beaten at Ipswich two runs back.”

Despite the bigger name jockeys available in Sydney, White has no intention of changing riders and has retained Les Tilley for his Doomben assignment and upcoming Sydney mission.

White rates the Barry Lockwood-trained Tumbler as the hardest to beat following the mare’s eye-catching second behind Spurcraft at the Sunshine Coast.

Tumbler tailed the field early when she last clashed with Spurcraft before producing sectionals rarely seen on a Queensland metropolitan track when she stormed home out wide to go under by less than one length.

Racing Queensland webnews   February 13