Scone trainer Cameron Crockett savours surreal city success with Mr Hussill

ANOTHER SUCCESS: Cameron and Oliver Crockett. Photo: Jay-Anna Mobbs
ANOTHER SUCCESS: Cameron and Oliver Crockett. Photo: Jay-Anna Mobbs

Cameron Crockett always believed Mr Hussill was good enough to win a Highway Handicap, but after almost two years of trying to get the "trainwreck" back on track, the Scone trainer was in shock on Saturday when the now five-year-old did just that.

First-up since a win at Dubbo in October 2019, Mr Hussill was given a rails sit from gate one by Kerrin McEvoy before getting a split between runners to hit the front 150m from home and powering to a length victory in the 1200m class two at Randwick.

Crockett said the success was "surreal" given the gelding's long list of setbacks since winning two of his first three starts.

Mr Hussill has fought back from a fractured pelvis, ripped hock, torn foreleg suspensory ligament, a wind operation and, most recently, fetlock spurs, which were discovered after a trial last month.

Crockett admitted there were times when he thought "there's no way this horse is ever going to race again" but he said the owners stuck with him and were happy to back his judgement.

"Going into yesterday, I knew he was the best horse in the race," Crockett said on Sunday. "I had full faith in the horse, but I've got to be honest, I didn't think he could win.

"Two years off, a wind operation, problems behind, problems in front, how could you be confident going into a Highway under those circumstances? And on a heavy 8, which he's never been exposed to.

"But he got a gem of a ride, he's a good horse and he did what I've always known he could do. I just didn't think he would do it first-up after two years.

"He's even picked up more problems this time in but he's just got this amazing will to win. Even after all these problems, he still parades like a horse who's happy to be there. It's incredible because most wouldn't.

"I'd have to say I've never felt like that after a win. It was surreal because it was a moment you never thought was going to come."

Crockett said Mr Hussill had pulled up well and he was excited about his potential for the $1.3 million Kosciuszko (1200m) at Randwick in October.

"He's a pretty special horse," he said.

"When I first came to Scone, I remembered when he arrived at my stable. He was an average looking fella but he always showed us above average ability.

"I don't want to get ahead of myself, but he's ticked a few boxes for the Kosciuszko with that win. He can handle the 1200 at Randwick, handle the wet and the dry, so if we can just hold him together and be confident of getting there, he could be a horse who pops up in a race like that."

At Scone on Sunday, local trainer Rod Northam had a winning double with Steplee and Spritza Seritza.

This story Scone trainer Cameron Crockett savours surreal city success with Mr Hussill first appeared on Hunter Valley News.