Drawing the outside of the gate in the Three-Year-Old Champion Stakes at Ashburton on Sunday holds no fears for Republican Party’s camp.
The Kentuckiana Lodge colt goes into the 1700m after sprinting away to an effortless victory over older horses in his last outing at Addington.
Republican Party steps out in the Ashburton feature alongside Invitation Only who showed he is right up with the good three-year-olds in the South Island with his fast finishing fourth behind Sand Wave recently.
Between them, the pair give trainers Cran and Chrissie Dalgety a huge hand in Sunday’s feature.
“They are two very nice horses and between them we would like to think our colours will be in the frame when the cameras are flashing,” Cran said.
“Republican Party won very easily at Addington, that was particularly satisfying after we had the problem with his tyre in his last start.”
“Invitation Only hasn’t had any luck in his last two starts, just through circumstances and getting too far back.”
“But his run behind Sand Wave showed us that we can go into a race like this with confidence he will compete very well.”
Invitation Only will start from barrier 4 for Sarah O’Reilly while Republican Party will line up on the outside of the front line in barrier 7 for Blair Orange.
Cran has no worries about copping the toughest possible draw with Republican Party.
“It is only a small field, so worst case scenario he won’t settle too far off them.”
“It will be up to Blair to decide how he wants to handle it, but I can’t see us using the barrier as an excuse win, lose or draw.”
“He is a class horse and he has all the attributes needed, wherever he is in the run.”
“On his work and his health and well-being, I would say he would be hard to beat.”
Invitation Only looks perfectly placed from barrier 4, with the race’s lesser lights drawn inside him.
“If he were to find the top or stay handy, he is going to give a great sight.”
“He is a lovely staying type, so he is not going to shirk the task.”
“His work has been very pleasing and he’s a win chance and a pretty big hope of running in the top three.”
Another Kentuckiana Lodge three-year-old also heads to Ashburton on Sunday in Casino Action who steps out in race 10.
Cran was straight up in assessing the pacer’s last start at Addington, in which he ran seventh.
“His last run was well below par and we have worked on a couple of things ssince then.”
“He has run much better races than that in good company, against the better three-year-olds.”
“We have gone back to the drawing board and made a few adjustments and I am pretty hopeful we will see a better version of the horse this week.”
“Drawing 13 isn’t a great help for us but he should go a good race.”
Blair Orange also takes the reins behind Casino Action.