Kentuckiana Lodge star Krug will take a crucial step towards his first derby tilt at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

New Zealand’s champion male two-year-old of last season will start for the first time since his fourth placing in the Group One Sires Stakes Final on New Zealand Cup Day.

Though Krug is just over a month away from his next shot at Group One glory in the Northern Derby trainers Cran and Chrissie Dalgety expect him to go a bold race.

“He is as fit as he can be without having a race, he has done all of the work at home and we couldn’t be happier with him,” Cran said.

“He has had a freshen up and he has come back super.”

“Naturally he is going to improve as we get towards the derby but I still expect him to go very well.”

“He is a class animal and that is going to take him a long way.”

Tony Herlihy takes the reins behind Krug in his 2200m assignment in race 7.

Kentuckiana Lodge colt Casino Action will be out to double up on his smart debut win at Alexandra Park two weeks ago when he returns in heat one of the Breckon Farms Young Guns Series.

With the two-year-old fit and ready to fire, it is just up to Todd Mitchell to negotiate a winning trip from barrier 2 on the second row.

“It could be a good draw, it could be a bad draw, we will just have to wait and see,” Cran said.

“Hopefully Toddy can work a bit of magic there.”

“We have done everything we can, the horse has advanced since his last run and he is ready to go big.”

Misti Gaynor has also been handed a second row draw in the first fillies’ heat of the Breckon Farms Young Guns Series.

The two-year-old ran a strong second behind Artisan in her debut two weeks ago.

Mitchell will again need to live up to his nickname of ‘The Wizard’ from barrier 1 on the second row.

“She is absolutely thriving up here, she has been charging around the place like a yearling,” Cran said.

“We have just got to rely on a bit of luck from the draw, if Toddy can work her into a handy spot I am sure she will be right there.”

Chevron’s Bypass has landed the best of the draws among the Kentuckiana Lodge two-year-olds. 

The filly is ready to go a big race from barrier 3 for driver Maurice McKendry.

“She is the big improver amongst the team,” Cran said.

“She is a big powerful girl and she has trimmed down after her first run.”

“She will strip fitter on Friday night.”

“We are drawn inside the favourite and ideally we would love to cross the two inside us to get into a nice spot.”

“But whether that happens or not, I am sure she will go a nice race.”

Fortunia and Tony Herlihy reunite following their good second at Alexandra Park two weeks ago.

They will be out to go one better in race 4.

“He has progressed since his first run up here and we are hoping he can do the job for the punters this time,” Cran said.

Alta Sensation has his first start at Alexandra Park alongside Fortunia.

The three-year-old has thrived on his northern trip and is expected to go a big race.

“He should be a good place chance, he is jumping out of his skin up here so we are expecting a bold performance,” Cran said.

Joshua Dickie takes the reins behind Alta Sensation.

by Jonny Turner