Jockey wonders what type of track he prefers after mare thrived in heavy going

Jockey Matthew Cropp hopes carrying the top weight does not mean Wee Biskit will only be chasing crumbs in today's Grand National Hurdle.

The 8-year-old mare will carry 69kg in today's 127th renewal of the Riccarton classic - 1.5kg more than Gagarin and 4kg more than the rest of the field.

Wee Biskit has earned her weight this year through her outstanding Wellington Hurdles win - her second in two years - leaving Cropp wondering exactly what type of track he would prefer today for the mare who thrived in the heavy11 at Trentham last month.

"It's going to be interesting her carrying that weight on Wednesday, whether she needs that really heavy stuff or whether she can do it on the top of the ground as well," Cropp said.


"I think it's going to make life a lot easier for her being on top of the ground with that sort of weight on her back. A little bit of rain will help anyway."

Trainer Ken Duncan has given the mare just one run since Trentham for an impressive fourth on the flat over 2200m at Rotorua on July 30.

"They went quite quick early. She made up ground well but, in saying that, the heavy track helped."

Cropp watched the Sydenham Hurdles on Saturday from the grandstand as Ngario won comfortably by more than eight lengths. Ngario will be hard to beat again, provided the 4200m journey does not find him out, but Cropp was also taken by runs in behind.

"The eye-catching runs were probably of Gagarin and Sean Cameron's horse [Regalo Reaal]."

Cropp expects to settle Wee Biskit near the rear of the field before looming up with 800m to go.

"I want to be a length or two behind the leaders by then," he said.

"I want to be pretty much attacking the leaders - in front at the top of the straight will be good. Well, that's the plan. She always gets back to last in her races anyway, so hopefully they go hard out in front and come back to her towards the end of the race."


Wee Biskit finished third in last year's National, although Cropp does not rate it as one of his top rides.

"Hey look, I didn't ride her as well as I could in last year's National. I was up the inside of everything and I think she's a serious chance [today]. But it's a good field of hurdlers this year." Otago Daily Times