By Isaac Murphy
The Group Two Queensland Derby has attracted some of the best young dogs from across the country, at the forefront of the interstate raiders is Jason Magri’s impressive New South Wales youngster King Cratos, who looks primed for success in the Derby heats in what is his first trip away from home.
The two-year-old has won all seven of his races at Wentworth Park and has only been away from the track once for an unsuccessful crack at the Richmond Derby, so Magri was sure to give him a look at Albion Park before Thursday night’s heats.
“This is the first time we’ve travelled interstate with him he’s done the majority of his racing at Wentworth Park, so I made sure I got up there last Thursday and had a trial with him,” Magri said.
“He took to the track really well, he went around in 29.78, he obviously handled the travel well so its good to come up this week knowing if luck goes his way he can run a race.”
Magri said there were distinct differences between Wentworth Park and the Albion circuit and thought the Brisbane track should suit his charge well.
“I’d say Albion Park is a roomier track than Wentworth which is probably a bonus for him, he can sometimes get his head up in the boxes, so if he misses it hopefully he can still work into the race, also has the ability to jump and if he gets it right he’ll be tough to beat,” Magri said.
The trainer said it was hard to stack up form not knowing that tendencies of local dogs but was not unhappy coming up with the three.
“From first glance at the field I’m fairly happy with the draw, the four likes to get off the track a bit hopefully that gives us some room to get a clean run to the turn,” Magri said.
“Apart from that it’s hard to predict, he’s racing against dogs he hasn’t seen before you’ve just got to worry abut your own and he’s spot on.”
Magri said he knew pretty early on he had a potential star and was looking forward too more group racing to add to his seven from twelve start strike rate.
“I got him after he’d been broken in and sent him to the pre-trainer where he was showing something in a couple of his trials, he then ran some real time up the straight at home and was a real professional when he hit the track,” he said.
“He went in the New Sensation at Wenty last month where he won his heat and ran second in the final, that was when I decided that we had to take the opportunity with him at age races and The Queensland Derby came along at the perfect time.”
“I’m taking it one race at a time with him, but I’ll probably put him in The Group One Peter Mosman at his home track in June.”