‘Cheap’ and ‘tiny’ gelding continues to deliver in Highways

The Cameron Crockett-trained Supreme Extreme is ridden to victory by James McDonald in Saturday’s Highway Handicap at Royal Randwick. Photo: Bradley Photos.

He’s tiny but he’s full of heart, and the Cameron Crockett-trained Super Extreme didn’t let connections down when winning his second Highway Handicap at Royal Randwick on Saturday. 

Ridden by champion jockey James McDonald, the four-year-old sat quietly towards the rear of the field in the 1200m Class Three Handicap, but the little gelding showed off an almighty finishing burst, defeating the Jan Bowen-trained Running bear (Ashley Morgan, $11) in second and the Donna Scott-trained Clever Art (Rachel King, $10) in third.

“He’s tiny; he’s the second smallest horse I’ve ever trained. He is the shortest horse in the stable by a long way, and he might be small, but he goes hard,” Crockett said. 

“He’s got a good lung and heart capacity and you will never see him blow. Even yesterday (Saturday), I thought he looked a bit fat, but fitness wise, he wouldn’t have blown out a candle.

“It’s funny, as he hasn’t come into his own until now, and he is four years old. Normally small horses are a bit more switched on when they are younger, and the bigger horses catch up later on, but he has taken some time and he will be even better later on.”

The small but talented gelding is a professional too, with Crockett explaining that he has matured into a real racehorse. 

“He travelled down on his own, and it doesn’t matter if he is alone or with mates,” Crockett said.

“He’s just the perfect horse really, and he is no fuss, and he tries his hardest when he goes around.”

By Extreme Choice and out of Super Lacuna, Super Extreme was a ‘cheap’ buy, but after 10 starts for three wins and three minor placings, the Scone galloper has netted connections just shy of $170,000 in prizemoney. 

“I had him originally, and they bought him cheap for $5000 before Extreme Choice was doing well, but by the time he got to being a three-year-old, Extreme Choice had a (Golden) Slipper winner, and looked like being a really good stallion,” Crockett said. 

“They sent him to town, and said if he doesn’t measure up, they’ll send him back and he was very small and immature when they sent him down to Mark (Newnham). 

“He had his first run at Goulburn and won and he went out and ran terrible at Newcastle and Mark thought he would be better off back with us, suggesting to the owners that he would make more money off the Highways and races like that.”

Unfortunately, due to being trained by Newnham, Super Extreme won’t be eligible to compete in the upcoming 2023 Country Championships as he wasn’t in Crockett’s care prior to April 2, 2022.  

“He had his last run for Mark in March, but he was still in the stable after that, and if they never brought him back into work and they sent him straight to me, he would have been eligible,” Crockett said. 

“The frustrating thing is that it’s probably anyone’s Country Championships this year, and if I haven’t missed something, there is no real standout.”

Crockett has been able to get the most out of his galloper, which won a 1400m Class Two Highway at Royal Randwick on December 17, before finishing a good second to King of Spades in the 1400m Class Two Highway at the same track on December 31.

After he won his second Highway on Saturday, Crockett and connections are eyeing a third for Super Extreme at Rosehill Gardens on February 18.

“We are thinking we will take him back to Rosehill for a Highway (Handicap) in a fortnight and then he will go to the paddock,” Crockett said. 

“He’s been up for a while now. We gave him a bit of a freshen-up between those starts but he’s done a bit of travelling, with four trips to town and he stayed overnight at Kembla (Grange), so he deserves a break.”

Crockett is one of the more accomplished Highway trainers in the state, and his team has been on fire of late.

The Scone trainer was winning races at Mudgee, Tamworth, Randwick, and Scone in December, while last month, he landed winners at Armidale and Scone. 

“I’ve only got 29 boxes, and over the last six months, I made a decision that if I don’t think a horse can win a Highway, then we give them a couple of runs and try and win a race in the country and move them on,” Crockett said. 

“We keep enough room for 5 to 10 untried horses, which is where your next good horse comes from, and that leaves me with 20 or so horses to have in work, and we want those horses to at least be at that Highway level.

“We came to Scone to lift to that level, and it’s starting to filter out now, and we train a bit different, but it’s starting to show, and we are getting some good results.”

It’s an exciting time for Country trainers, and Crockett will have three of his 2023 Country Championships hopefuls going round in the 1200m Class Four preview at Tamworth on Friday, with Commando Hunt, Don’tforgetmonia, and Mr Hussill all in action.