By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Exciting three-year-old Krug cemented his favourite’s tag for the Gr.1 Garrard’s Sires’ Stakes Final (1700m) in a fortnight with another impressive win at Alexandra Park on Thursday night in the Garrard’s Sires’ Stakes Heat 3 Mobile Pace (1700m).
The Nathan Purdon and Chrissie Dalgety-trained colt was taken back early from his outside barrier on the second row before driver Blair Orange asked his charge to improve three-wide with a lap to go.
The son of Bettor’s Delight had to do a power of work to finally attain the lead with 500m to go and he was able to maintain his advantage and hold off a late challenge from American Dealer to win by a head.
His connections were thrilled with Krug’s bold run and they are now looking forward to watching him attempt to add a second Group One victory to his record later this month.
“It was pretty impressive,” Purdon said. “I didn’t really expect him to win tonight. Starting from the outside of the backline over a shorter trip and to overcome an obstacle like that was a pretty good effort.
“They went a 1.54 mile rate, they don’t go much faster than that. To be off the track running those sectionals was impressive and he really did grind to the line.”
While Krug faced a talented field on Thursday, Purdon believes his biggest competition for the final remains It’s All About Faith, who Krug vanquished last start at Addington Raceway.
“It looks like the main danger is Dad’s (Mark Purdon) horse It’s All About Faith, he races back down south today (Friday),” Purdon said.
“He is still going to be really hard to beat. But he’s (Krug) definitely on the right path and couldn’t have been more impressive tonight.”
Meanwhile, Purdon was less upbeat about the performances of stablemates Fabrizio and I’m A Gigolo in the Like – Share – Comment At AlexandraParkNZ Mobile Pace (2200m).
Fabrizio took no part in the race after missing the score up and then breaking heading around the first turn.
“He’s just got a bit of a streak through him unfortunately,” Purdon said. “He tends to spit the dummy a little bit. We had a pole on his inside and rein pole on his outside to help steer him this way around, but we will probably have to take that off.”
Meanwhile, I’m A Gigolo had to burn a fair bit of petrol three-wide early on, which took its toll later in the race. While he finished 10th, Purdon was happy enough with I’m A Gigolo’s efforts.
“At first look I was a little bit disappointed, but they went pretty strong off the gate and they went a pretty good time,” Purdon said.
“He wasn’t too far away after doing 500 to 600m of work three-wide at the start.
“There aren’t many horses that could still do that and stick on. He just tired up the straight, but he was definitely entitled to.”
Purdon has now set his sights towards the Sires’ Stakes Final in a fortnight and he said the space between races is ideal.
“With the runs tonight from I’m A Gigolo and Krug they will probably be a little bit down for the next couple of days, but we are lucky enough to have two weeks before the final, so we can pick them up and get them ready for that,” Purdon said.