Four-year-old mare La Crique has gone for a break following her brave third placing in the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2050m) where she suffered interference when making her bid for glory.
Trainers Simon and Katrina Alexander have cautioned that the Group One winner might potentially bypass a Queensland campaign in favour of a lengthier break with a view to being ready earlier in the spring.
“It was a roughly-run race for her in particular,” Katrina Alexander said of the New Zealand Stakes effort.
“She got knocked around quite a bit. She suffered a bit from that and the days following she was muscle sore in general.
“It was always the plan to give her a freshen-up after that race and then look at Brisbane for her.
“We put her in the paddock and we initially thought we might just give her 10 days out but just given the way she came through that race we have decided to stretch that out and give her at least a few weeks.
“Whether that fits with a Queensland campaign or not, I am not too sure. We were hoping to take in a race like the Hollindale Stakes (Group 2, 1800m on May 6) but the time-frame on that won’t work now.
“I don’t want to put her on a plane until I know I have got her 100 percent right so we are a bit in limbo and might have to wait for the spring again and look at heading to Australia earlier in her preparation rather than when she has got runs under her belt.
“It depends on how well she spells and we have a lovely part of our season now. The weather has really settled down and it would be nice to make the most of that. It is looking more and more realistic that it will be a spring campaign as opposed to Queensland at this point.”
Alexander said the wet New Zealand summer had hindered the star mare’s campaign, including ruling out a fresh-up tilt at the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m), and they had battled feet issues that previously were never an issue.
From three starts this preparation, the daughter of Vadamos finished fifth to Imperatriz in the Group 1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m), second to Levante in the Group 1 Otaki WFA Classic (1600m) and third to Prowess in the New Zealand Stakes.
“She had a few soft sole problems and then every time we went to run it rained,” Alexander said.
“She has been very brave running the two Group One placings. We have probably only had her at 90 percent and I put that down to our incredibly wet summer and a lot of other trainers have been in the same boat.
“It is more than likely we will get her to Australia earlier in the spring rather than later, and make the most of her in a fresher state – she always goes well fresh.”
Alexander believes La Crique will be best suited around the 2000m distance, with her dam Destiny Cove a winner up to 2400m.
“She just had that super brilliance and against her own age-group at three that was very evident,” Alexander said.
“We think she is quite capable of relaxing further back in her races and as she gets older she is going to be wanting that 2000m plus distance earlier in her prep. I think she can still run a very sharp mile and she is probably a horse that can go straight to a mile fresh.”