Three-year-olds Invitation Only and Ajira led the way during a nearly perfect weekend for Kentuckiana Lodge.

Invitation Only announced his return to racing in grand style, with a big fresh up win at Addington on Friday night. 

Misti Gaynor chased hard behind the three-year-old to seal a quinella for the Cran and Chrissie Dalgety stable in race 9.

At Rangiora on Sunday, Ajira continued Kentuckiana Lodge’s form when he also produced a nice fresh up victory. 

In between the stable’s victories, Republican Party reeled off sensational sectionals to run on into second placing in his return to racing.

Invitation Only shrugged off the early work he did to find the lead, producing a strong victory over 1980m for driver Sarah O’Reilly. 

Cran went into the race hopeful of a big effort first up, but he admitted Invitation Only exceeded his expectations. 

“He had been working up very well and we were hopeful of a good run.”

“But he’s gone super.”

“There is a bit more improvement to come in him yet so hopefully he might pick another one up soon.”

“He is a big horse and time has been his friend.”

“He did a great job in the spring, but he is definitely bigger and better now.”

A start in the Sires Stakes Magnifique at Addington on May 14 is now being considered for Invitation Only. 

Mitsi Gaynor showed she is nearing a win when chasing hard along the passing lane to get within half a length of Invitation Only at the finish. 

Ajira also hit the track running when sprinting to victory in race 10 at Rangiora on Sunday. 

In a competitive affair, Carter Dalgety found a perfect run in the trail for the three-year-old. 

Ajira then did his part by dashing along the inner to score in his first start since being freshened.

“He won nicely a couple of starts ago at Addington but he was off colour in his next run at Rangiora.”

“We freshened him up and he is back to being his old self again.”

“It is great that we can put that wee hiccup behind us, there is plenty coming up for him and he is good enough shape to pick up a few more cheques yet.”

Republican Party took on older horses in his first run since his run since January and could not have been more impressive while being defeated.

The three-year-old got within a nose of Mabelline who has had plenty of racing under her belt in strong mares races recently.

Republican Party was clocked to run his last 800m in a scintillating 54.64sec showing he will be lethal wherever he steps out next.

Cran plans to take the colt to the upcoming premier meetings at Addington.

Ajira runs to victory at Rangiora for Carter Dalgety