Cam Crockett and Commando Hunt Kosciuszko bound

The Cameron Crockett-trained Commando Hunt will run in the 2022 The Kosciuszko. Photo: Bradley Photos.

2022 Country Championships runner-up Commando Hunt will soon enough be racing for more riches, after the Cameron Crockett-trained galloper was selected to contest the $2 million The Kosciuszko, which will be held at Royal Randwick over 1200m on October 15. 

Commando Hunt’s part-owner Des Kennedy at Mudgee’s Oriental Tavern was the lucky ticket winner, making his selection as easy as you would like for connections. 

Commando Hunt will be the Scone trainer’s third runner in the race in five years, and he shapes to be a major player, with the 15-start veteran and three-time winner boasting some serious ability. 

After winning back-to-back races at Scone and Muswellbrook in late 2020, which led to multiple close finishes in Highway Handicaps at Randwick and Rosehill Gardens, the five-year-old broke through to win the 1400m Class Three Highway Handicap at Kembla Grange on August 14, 2021. 

Since then, the Time For War gelding finished second to the Cody Morgan-trained Anethole in the Hunter North West Country Championships qualifier at Tamworth on March 6, before coming out and running a very close second to the Gary Colvin-trained Another One in the $500,000 Country Championships final at Royal Randwick on April 2. 

Following a 21-week spell, Commando Hunt trialled at Tamworth over 1000m on August 29, and he caught the eye when finishing strongly under a hard hold, beaten only by 0.5 of a length by stablemate and proven sprinter, Pure Fuego. 

Cameron Crockett and his team are over the moon to have Commando Hunt racing in the rich country-only feature, but are arguably more excited to have long-time owners Des Kennedy, Max Whitby, and Bryan Rutter on board for the ride.

“Cameron and the team are thrilled for Des Kennedy and co-owners Max Whitby and Bryan Rutter who have been a great support to the stable,” the stable wrote on Facebook. 

“Being drawn this early is a huge relief and the horse can now be prepared for grand final day with confidence. 

“He will continue with the plan to run first-up at Dubbo Turf Club this Sunday and then present third-up at Randwick for the big day.

“Being drawn out of Cameron’s hometown of Mudgee in such an important country event makes this announcement extra special and in particular representing Des Kennedy, who has been with the stable all the way and owned our first runner and winner. 

“Best of luck to all of them and Commando who is sure to have a bigger following than ever heading to October 15th

It’s been an exciting afternoon for NSW country stables, with the Mitchell Beer-trained Mnementh the first horse selected to contest The Kosciuszko, while Handle The Truth (Keith Dryden), Art Cadeau (Terry Robinson), It’s Me (Brett Cavanough), Front Page (Geoff Duryea), and Another One (Gary Colvin) were all selected to contest the $2 million race.