Trainer Kerry Weir and jockey Kayla Nisbet kicked off 2022 in the best possible fashion when winning Saturday’s Adelong Cup with Crocodile Cod.
Racing at Gundagai Adelong Race Club’s New Year’s Day meeting, Crocodile Cod found himself in a ding-dong battle in the $13,000 feature event over the 1400m journey, battling local hope, the David Blundell-trained Thistledo.
Ridden by Nisbet, the Tumut galloper found the front, but a game Thistledo fought back under the guidance of Molly Bourke as the pair raced neck-and-neck down the Gundagai home straight.
Crocodile Cod ($6) eventually pulled away to win by a 0.43 of a length from Thistledo ($4), while race favourite Bezazzalled ($3.60) for Phil Sweeney and Hannah Williams finished a further 1.51 lengths away in third.
The Cluster gelding did everything wrong in the Adelong Cup, sweating up in the stalls prior to the race, before bombing the start and racing wide but the five-year-old still boasted enough class to get the job done.
“He felt really good,” Nisbet said after the victory.
“He had to do a bit of work early, but when he ended up rolling across to outside the leader, we ended up getting a bit of a breather mid-race and I was pretty confident coming to the 600m that he would be hard to run down.”
Weir was also pleased with the victory considering the trying conditions.
“It was a good win considering everything,” Weir said.
“He missed the start and had to work hard to get around them and like Kayla (Nisbet) said to me after the race, for the first 600m of the race he was four and five wide.
“He actually switched off though, which is good. Sometimes he can over race, and he looked to have settled nicely.”
The Tumut trainer is confident he has Crocodile Cod worked out and hinted he was the stable’s best chance of winning the Tumut Cup in February.
“I’ve always thought he was a 2000m horse and last prep we had him up to 2000m, but I honestly think he is a 1400m horse, and maybe a mile horse if you keep him fresh and don’t over race him,” Weir said.
“To get him up over 2000m, you have to work him twice as hard and he was a bit flat at times last prep, but over 1400m, I can keep him fresh.
“He is my Tumut Cup horse this year. He will probably back-up in the (Tumut) Mile in January and not race again until the (Tumut) Cup.”
Crocodile Cod’s Adelong Cup victory capped off a stellar day of non-TAB racing at Gundagai-Adelong Race Club, with a good local crowd getting out to enjoy the warm summer conditions and strong racing.
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