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Brett Crawford runs smart Australian-bred Snitzel filly Stiptelik in the Gr 1 SA Fillies Sprint (Picture: Wayne Marks).


Brett Crawford has five runners in the Gr 1s at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Saturday and said all of them had been doing well.

In the Golden Horse Sprint he has Surjay, who will be having his second run as a gelding.

Brett said, “We didn’t want to cut him in the middle of the Cape Summer season, so did it afterwards and he needed his last start in the Drill Hall. He has been putting in very good work.”

Surjay might be having his second run after a layoff, but his best run of the season, when beating high profile horses Kommetdieding and Trip Of Fortune in the Bantry Bay Sprint at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth, was also his second run after a layoff and was over this same trip. He showed good cruising speed and a fine turn of foot that day, which is exactly what a horse requires at Hollywoodbets Scottsville. However, he was not quite going through with it all the way to the line, even when he won the Bantry Bay Stakes. If gelding has helped in that regard he could be a good value runner. Luyolo Mxothwa knows the Vercingetorix four-year-old well and retains the ride.

Crawford runs the well-bred Cullinan Blue in the Gr 1 Allan Robertson Championship. She is by Vercingetorix out of Rock Of Gibraltar mare Gibraltar Blue, who followed victory in the Gr 2 KRA Fillies Guineas with a close second in the Gr 1 SA Fillies Sprint before winning the Gr 2 Tibouchina over 1400m, the Listed Gardenia over 1000m and the Gr 2 Ipi Tombe Challenge over 1600m. She has also produced the like of the useful Battleoftrafalgar, a 98 merit rated sprinter.

Crawford was very happy with Cullinan Blue’s preparation and felt she had run a fine race in the Gr 2 SA Fillies Nursery. She was drawn on the wrong side by trends in barrier two in that race, but was up with the pace throughout sticking to her stations. She was only found wanting in the closing stages when the outside horses swooped and she finished a four length fourth. Considering that unfavourable draw and the differing rates at which two-year-olds improve she has a shout of reversing form with Mrs Geriatrix and Red Hot Rose. She is drawn 9 out of 12 and Kabelo Matsunyane stays aboard.     

Crawford runs the Irish-bred The Abdicator by No Nay Never in the Gr 1 Gold Medallion. He rated this colt but added he was an excitable type. The pacifiers are now on and he said if he remained settled he would run a much better race than he did last time when beaten 11,50 lengths in the Gr 3 Godolphin Barb over 1100m.

Crawford runs the Australian-bred pair Stiptelik (Snitzel)  and Whoa Whoa Whoa (Maurice) in the SA Fillies Sprint and said they were both exceptionally well but were up against two very good fillies in Princess Calla and Desert Miracle.

Crawford’s runners have all been prepared out of Randjesfontein Johannesburg and were on their way to Pietermaritzburg this morning. 

Crawford has won Gr 1s at Hollywoodbets Scottsville before, winning the SA Filllies Sprint twice with the Australian-bred Danehill filly Laisserfaire and the Gr 1 Golden Horse Sprint with Bold Respect (Bold Silvano). He has had a host of close calls in Gr 1s at the Pietermaritzburg venue too.