Peter Muscutt and Crawford – together again

Peter Muscutt joins Crawford Racing to look after Durban string.

Mark van Deventer

One of Brett Crawford’s first jobs trying to break into the racing game was working with trainer Brian Muscutt in Harare nearly thirty years ago. The old man taught Brett to ride and he grew up with Brian’s sons, Peter and Paul. These long-standing family links have come full circle with Peter now joining Crawford Racing. He will be helping take care of the Durban string during Winter.

Peter Muscutt is a vastly experienced horseman. Previously an assistant to former champion trainer David Payne, he also worked with Alec Laird for some time. Muscutt has plied his trade in other racing jurisdictions, including a training stint in Singapore as well as working with top ranked Australian conditioner, Chris Waller for seven years in Sydney.

“I’m a wanderer, but I’ve been fortunate through all the travels. I’m in position A in Australia; it’s just such an unbelievably positive set up working with Waller. He runs a sizeable and complex horse operation like a machine, with an exceptional work ethic. Phenomenal record keeping of the horses and slick owner communication make for such a positive experience. He is very successful!” revealed Muscutt, who continues to assist Waller daily, using online technology.

Muscutt will be returning to Singapore later this year with substantial support from Waller – due to regulatory requirements he can only head there in September. So, it’s most opportune that he can again join forces with his enduring mate from Zimbabwe for a six- month spell.

“I feel fortunate that Peter is available for this period, and I look forward to learning from all the experience he has accumulated on his travels.” said Brett. Muscutt is also excited, “We have much knowledge to share and will feed off each other.”

Brett humbly recalls arriving in Cape Town as a young man and working under Peter when he held his own license. They operated out of the same Phillipi training complex that Crawford Racing currently occupy. Muscutt remembers the camaraderie that sustained them through a difficult spell when promised horses failed to materialise, and the let-down duo were left stranded with a tiny string of battlers. “We lived in the office together, and used the hose to shower outside.” Muscutt ruefully recalled.

Those “struggle credentials” are from a distant past that both have long since transcended. Crawford is currently on a career best seasonal roll at third on the National Trainer’s Log. He is sending a powerful and particularly well balanced group of horses to fill the 25 boxes allocated at Summerveld for the Winter campaign.

A list of 20 potential candidates have already been compiled, though others must still run in Cape Town before the entire travelling party is finalised. The first group of 11 leave this Thursday, with Crawford’s next float departing the following week, Wednesday.

That first confirmed batch is scheduled to arrive on Friday after a mid- journey lay over at Colesberg. It’s a potent team comprising: Bold Respect, Boldly Respectable, Captain America, Carbon Offset, Edict of Nantes, Gulf Storm, Nebula, Search Party, Sail South, Union Jack and Winter Prince.

Crawford, Muscutt and stable stalwart, Barry Donnelly bring an array of training skills and decades of experience gleaned around the world into practise. They seem likely to extract peak performances out of their raiding posse over the next few months and make a forceful impact during the highly competitive Durban season.

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