Conor Crook is almost Tasmanian harness racing’s latest $2,000,000 man.
Last season’s leading driver looks set to his stake money earning past the mark in Launceston on Sunday night, as he prepares to embark on a move to Victoria late next month with a team of horses.
Two of his horses set to make the trip are Shannonstheman and Joe Nien, who clash in the CUB Devonport Quality, but the trainer warns punters about his decision to drive Joe Nien is not one that should be read into too much.
“Shannonstheman went good for Rohan the last time they clashed, so I just left him on,” said Conor.
The Rocknroll Hanover gelding is resuming since finishing seventh in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Easter Cup.
“He raced six weeks in a row, so I gave him a fortnight off, he is about 95% going into this, but only over the mile it shouldn’t phase him at all,” said the trainer.
“From the draw, he should be somewhere there on the speed and will give them a scare that’s for sure,” Conor added.
Joe Nien returned to the track from a few weeks off in the Launceston Mile last week, when finishing fifth as the $2 favourite.
“He is a funny horse. If he is on song, he can beat anything, but if he is not he just plods along and runs fourth or fifth, which is what happened last week,” said the trainer.
“Having that run last week, hopefully, he has turned the corner this week,” Conor said.
The richest prize money race of the night is the $14,000 Ladbrokes Sheffield Cup.
The standing start race has had many homes, including on the turf thoroughbred track at Spreyton, and the Devonport Showgrounds.
It even had a short stint on the synthetic gallops circuit at Spreyton in 2013.
Conor prepares Kuyomi in the race, in what the trainer says will likely be the mares last season of racing before heading to the breeding barn.
Other features on the Launceston meeting that have been transferred from the Devonport Harness Racing Club include the Devonport Belmont, Leigh Plunkett and the Latrobe Cup.