Crockett eyes ultimate comeback story with Kosciuszko bound Mr Hussill

The story behind the Cameron Crockett trained Mr Hussill is the ultimate tale of resilience, perseverance and tenacity for both horse and trainer.
The now six-year-old gelding suffered a broken pelvis at his third start, running with the injury and still winning a 1300m Benchmark 58 Handicap at Dubbo; his second win in three starts after winning his maiden at Muswellbrook.

The Husson gelding miraculously returned from the usually career-ending injury, only to need a throat operation.

The stop-start nature to his career saw Mr Hussill debut in October 2018, before winning his maiden in August 2019.

He effectively spent 45 and 44 week spells respectively on the sideline, trialling once in between at Gosford back in August of last year before returning to racing in a 1200m Class Two TAB Highway Handicap at Royal Randwick on July 17, 2021; almost two years after his Dubbo victory.

“It was a good feeling to see him back racing,” Crockett said.

“We thought we would be lucky to get him back on track.”

At double figure odds and under the guidance of Kerrin McEvoy, Mr Hussill would go on to win the $100,000 race easily, showcasing his talent on the main stage and putting the exclamation mark on the unlikeliest of comebacks.

In the following six weeks, Mr Hussill has raced at Royal Randwick two more times, finishing third in a 1200m Class Three TAB Highway Handicap on July 3 before running second in another 1200m Class Three Tab Highway Handicap on September 4.

These efforts caught the eye of Ganmain-based ‘The Kosciuszko’ ticket holder, Jed Lawton, and his syndicate of mates, who picked Mr Hussill to contest the $1.3 million race.

Crockett said he never envisioned the previously broken-down gelding winning another race, let alone racing in the richest country-only event in the world.

“When he came back to racing, The Kosciuszko wasn’t something we had ever thought of,” Crockett said. 

“Just getting him to the races was the focus, let alone him even winning and getting him in a race like The Kosciuszko.”

Now, after three terrific runs in town, Crockett is confident his comeback horse can compete on the grand stage and against the best country sprinters in NSW.

“The main thing that set me on the path to The Kosciuszko was when Kerrin (McEvoy) rode him in one of the Highways, and he got off him and said, ‘he is a Kosciuszko horse for sure’,” Crockett said.

“That comment gave me plenty of confidence.”

McEvoy will not ride Mr Hussill though, instead jumping aboard the Geoff Duryea trained, Front Page, and Crockett had no qualms with the decision, with Mr Hussill considered an outside chance to gain a start in The Kosciuszko when the star Sydney hoop committed to the Corowa runner.

“Kerrin got the ride on Front Page pretty early, and he was in the market, and we were 50/1,” Crockett said. 

“You can understand why he took the ride, but it doesn’t take away what Kerrin said about the horse. He would have probably gone with us earlier if he knew we were racing.”

Mr Hussill won’t be disadvantaged though, with in-form young gun, Regan Bayliss, taking the ride. 

“Regan Bayliss is on him; he rode some Group Ones in Sydney last week and he will get the job done,” Crockett said.

“We are pretty happy to have him riding for us.”

As far as final preparations go, the Scone trainer was keeping calm, and he believes his charge is cherry ripe for the biggest race of his short career.

“He is going well; he hasn’t missed a beat,” Crockett said. 

“We are really laid back going into The Kosciuszko. We know the horse well and we have done everything we can. 

“It’s up to him now and we will just have to wait and see what happens.”

The barrier draw for The Kosciuszko was released today, with Mr Hussill drawing gate six.

For the full fields, readers can click here and to have a bet on Mr Hussill at $20, or any other The Kosciuszko runner, readers can click here.