Trainer Kieran McDonagh said it’s hard to assess a two horse trial, but on first impression he considered Cockney Crew to be super impressive.
Launching his season return in heat 13 at Lark Hill, Cockney Crew had raced away from Chancery by the turn and bolted in by 21 lengths for jockey Peter Hall
“I’m very happy, but it’s very hard with one other horse in the trial to gauge, but at least we had Hally on who has ridden him the past few times,” McDonagh told The Races WA.
“I was relying on what he was going to tell me and he was very happy and thinks he has got stronger and better from last prep.
“I always thought last prep he was immature physically, even mentally, but this prep he looks to have grown up a lot and is 20 or 30kg heavier than he has ever been.”
Cockney Crew emerged as McDonagh’s stable flag bearer as a three-year-old in the autumn.
The Maschino gelding ran two straight seconds to Regal Power in the Melvista Stakes (2200m) and WA Derby (2400m) respectively.
Following this morning’s hit out, McDonagh believes Cockney Crew can target feature Ascot carnival events with confidence.
“Well he is 75 rater so we will try in two weeks on a Saturday in a 70+ mile and work our way from there,” McDonagh said.
“The grand final will be great if we can get to the Perth Cup or something like that.
“But we will take it one step at a time and assess it through the prep.”
— The Races WA (@theracesWA) September 2, 2019
McDonagh confirmed Hall will ride Cockney Crew first-up.
He has ridden the gelding on two occasions for one win at Bunbury and a runner-up placing last-start in the Derby.
The experienced hoop is riding the crest of a wave and is unbeaten at Belmont since returning from the Broome Season
Hall booted home Touch Of Silver and posted a race-to-race double on Bunker Buster and Mad Brad on Saturday.
In a busy week ahead Hall will partner Trap For Fools in the Feehan Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday and reunites with Touch Of Silver in Sunday’s Coolgardie Cup (1760m).