Craiglea Stud looking to grab double with sharp pair
CRAIGLEA Stud owner Stan Johnston is daring to dream of a Cleveland Bay double as they saddle up two runners in today’s timehonoured sprint at Cluden Park.
This year’s Caltex Yabulu Cleveland Bay Open Handicap ( 1300m) has attracted the strongest field in recent memory and Craiglea Deken and Craiglea Wandoo shape as two of the leading chances.
The stable already has a strong record in the Townsville feature after trainer Krystle Johnston prepared last year’s winner Executed, who overcame the handicapper and a wide alley to bolt home by more than two lengths.
Craiglea Deken has been slugged with the top weight today, but that’s unlikely to bother the four- year- old given he’s carried 60.5kg or more in his last four wins in Townsville.
Deken is better suited back at this distance after finishing third over 1800m last start and prior to that he’d won six in a row, including 10 from 14 at Cluden Park.
The Craiglea pair have already had some good fortune at the barrier draw, with Wandoo in three and Deken in four, and Stan Johnston was confident they were set for big performances.
“It’s a very strong field, but the good thing is we’ve drawn good alleys and we needed to,” he said.
“Both our horses preferred dis- tance is 1400m so if they had have drawn wide back at 1300m then they wouldn’t have been able to go back and come round them.
“It’s hard for Deken to come back from 1800m to 1300m, but Krystle looks as though she’s got him pretty good. Where they’ve drawn is ideal and we’re hopeful.”
Deken might have the more impressive form line, but Johnston believed Wandoo was the pick of the stablemates given his strong record in Brisbane.