Crusade climbing through the classes

Successful trainer Darren McAuliffe makes no attempt to hide his admiration for promising Trade Fair three-year-old Grand Crusade.

“He’s a real nice horse,” said McAuliffe after Grand Crusade’s win in the Westspeed 3Y0 Handicap (1200m) at Belmont Park on Wednesday.  “I have a lot of time for him.  He went chronically shin sore at his only loss and hung off the track the whole way.  By the time we got him back to the stalls he was lame in both forelegs.

“We are continuing to nurse him along this preparation.  He went into that race without a gallop for three weeks.  So it was a very impressive effort.  We’ll now take him through the classes.”

Grand Crusade, bred by Allan Young’s Kintore Stud at Serpentine, is from the Royal Academy mare Search.  His dam is a half-sister to Spielmeister and she has had three named foals for as many winners.

Spielmeister won five times and was second in the G3 VRC Ellerston Capital Stakes and LR Kensington Stakes and was fourth in the G1 Australian Guineas.

Grand Crusade was beaten over a length by Star of The Orient in the Ritz Party Hire Maiden (1200m) on debut at Pinjarra on Anzac Day.  He then won the Rose Maiden (1100m) at Northam last month before doubling up on Wednesday.

Racegoers are bound to hear a lot more about Grand Crusade – and a lot more about other emerging stock of Trade Fair.  The Zafonic stallion stands at Alwyn Park for a $4,950 (inc gst) fee.