Crockett’s rocket ready to unleash in Country Championships heat

Jar Of Hearts

CAMERON Crockett is hoping for back to back finalists in the Country Championships at Randwick next month when he lines up with two horses in the Central Districts qualifier at Wellington this Sunday.

Crockett saddled up Iron Blue in the $400,000 series back in 2016, but says his main chance in this year’s heat, Jar Of Hearts, will be his best chance yet of featuring in the grand final on April 1.

Jar Of Hearts has been in great form since resuming from a spell, with two starts for two wins at Parkes and Bathurst respectively.

It has been a terrific turnaround for the four-year-old-mare which failed to win at her previous preparation after transferring stables in March 2016.

Crockett said the bonny bay had a lot going against her last prep, but insists she has put it all together since resuming at the start of the year.

“I am really happy with her – last preparation she was plagued by wet tracks and she was never really trained properly because of the wet weather,” Crockett told Horse Betting.

“What I liked about her last prep – although I never had her right the whole time – she may have never won but she still performed.

“On top of that I didn’t really know the horse – it took her a while to settle into our stables because we do things very different to her last trainer.

“We spelled her throughout the spring and all of her dead hair fell out – since then she has come back a lot stronger and a lot better mentally.”

The Mudgee father-of-two said he expects Jar Of Hearts to figure prominently in the finish this Sunday.

“This has been the plan with her this whole preparation,” he said.

“It would surprise me if she didn’t qualify.”

Meanwhile, also representing team Crockett in the qualifying feature will be three-year-old gelding Ori On Fire.

The son of Benfica and Are You Ready hasn’t missed a place thus far in his career, but will be giving away plenty of experience to his rivals with just three starts to his name.

Despite having shown glimpses of potential, Crockett concedes he will be facing a battle on Sunday with 56 kilograms on his back.

“He is probably 12 months away from a race like this – he has definitely got the ability but I don’t think he has got the experience on his side,” he said.

“The barrier is no help to him either, but with that being said I don’t think he will disgrace himself – but he will find it hard to win.”

Crockett said a win in the qualifier with Jar Of Hearts would be a massive boost for his stables and a rewarding win for the mare’s owner, Rick Chapman.

“The qualifier alone is $80,000-to-the-winner – if she can win it that pays for her whole career,” he said.

“This series is so good for country people and horses because it costs a fair bit just to have a horse and it can be very hard to get a good one.”

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