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Crackerjack To Make Australian Debut This Saturday
Lindsay Park Racing is adopting an "old-fashioned" approach to the Spring Racing Carnival with imported galloper Crackerjack King (Shamardal-Claba di San Jore, by Barathea), reports racingvictoria.net.au. The Ireland-bred entire will make a belated start to his Australian career in Saturday's Gr3 Aurie's Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington. Co-trainers David Hayes and Tom Dabernig consider Victoria's first stakes race of the new season as the ideal launching pad for the 6YO, who has not raced since finishing eighth in the Gr1 Arlington Million in August 2012. The son of Shamardal has since undergone rehabilitation for a tendon injury, but Dabernig said he was ready to return to the races and the opportunity to resume up the Flemington straight was perfect. "The shortest (distance) he's ever run over is 1800, so starting over 1200 is a bit more like an old-fashioned way of kicking off an Australian stayer," Dabernig said. "But because of his tendon rehab, we've only been able to work him really over short distances, a bit like working a sprinter. So we'll run him down the straight where we'll get great ground. When they're running in a straight line they generally pull up well." He added, "It'll blow out some cobwebs for him and if he can be running on and hitting the line it opens a few doors for him." Crackerjack King, a winner of seven of his 10 starts, including a Gr1 (2000m) in Italy, was this week nominated for both the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Cox Plate (2040m).