Sharpe Hussler extended to 1400m for city mission

Cameron Crockett will bring Sharpe Hussler to Randwik hoping he can improve over 1400 metres.

Sharpe Hussler will make the road trip from Mudgee to Sydney with trainer Cameron Crockett keen to see what he can do when he steps up in distance.

The six-year-old gelding has never won beyond 1300m, but he will be asked to do just that at Randwick on Tuesday when he takes on a Sydney metropolitan field for just the second time in his 27-start career.

His Randwick initiation did not go to plan in a Benchmark 80 Handicap (1200m) early last month, prompting Crockett to step him up to 1400m in a benchmark 77 Handicap.

“He needs that extra furlong to be competitive in Sydney. The 1200 is too sharp for him down there,” Crockett said.

“In the country they go hard early and come back to you so horses like him come into their own.

“In town they tend to run along early and when you try and pick them up they find another gear and kick again so it’s difficult to pick them up from the back.”

Sharpe Hussler arrived at Crockett’s stable from Brisbane trainer Chris Munce in June and since his Randwick debut he won at Mudgee before trialling at Narromine last week.

“He needed the trial to bridge the gap between runs because I don’t do a lot with him at home,” Crockett said.

“With the older horses I tend to keep them on the fresher side and let them do their work in their trials and races.”

Crockett also has five-year-old Artistic Beauty lining up in the Schweppes Handicap (1600m) with 53kg.

“She’s a class four mare but in her last two runs in open company she’s only been beaten by a head,” Crockett said.

He said Artistic Beauty’s half brother Nictock was nearing a return to work after a break.

The four-year-old won four of his past six starts before heading to the paddock after struggling on soft ground at Randwick in late October.

Nictock finished fifth, 4-1/4 lengths off the winner in a Benchmark 86 Handicap (1000m) to give Crockett some cause for concern.

“He didn’t like the soft track. That could be the chink in his armour. I wouldn’t write him off completely on a wet track but it does slow him down,” he said.

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