Craftmanship (white hood) winning the Listed Hill Smith Stakes. credit: Atkins Photography
Three-year-old colt Craftmanship (NZ) (Savabeel) showed plenty of fortitude to take a needle-eye gap over the concluding stages of the Listed Hill Smith Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville to score a narrow maiden stakes win.
The Mick Price and Michael Kent jnr-trained colt relaxed beautifully from gate one for in-form apprentice Kayla Crowther, but had a wall of horses in front of him rounding the home bend.
Under a no-panic ride, Crowther pushed through a narrow gap in the closing stages to defeat favoured runners Balaabel (Not A Single Doubt) and Magazine (NZ) (Savabeel).
“It didn’t go to plan. I would have loved to have been a lot more forward but by the time he jumped he was just too relaxed and I just let him be where he wanted to be,” Crowther said.
“He was really game. He took a really tight gap and if he got beaten, it would have been the sickest defeat of the day.
Craftmanship was sporting blinkers for the first time on Saturday and the gear change worked to good effect, with the good-looking colt winning his second race from four starts.
“I thought looking at his last couple of starts with the winkers on he still looked a little bit keen travelling in amongst them,” Crowther said.
“But today, they went a really genuine clip and he didn’t have time to pull. He was off the bridle pretty much the whole way, but he just had so much to give.
“It was a really good training effort too. I think Mick puts a lot of faith in me and I am grateful to repay it.”
Craftmanship formed the middle leg of a treble for Crowther, who is a top-five rider in South Australia this season.
The colt by Savabeel out of the stakes winning Pins mare Aspinal was bought for $360,000 from the 2018 Karaka Book 1 yearling draft of Little Avondale Stud.
Purchased by astute judge Duncan Ramage, in conjunction with Mick Price, Craftmanship comes from the family of Waikato Stud stallion and four-time Group One winner Sacred Falls (NZ) (O’Reilly).