The perfect preparation has Kentuckiana Lodge colt Republican Party ready to fire in the Group One Sires Stakes Final on New Zealand Cup Day.
The pacer will complete the journey trainers Cran and Chrissie Dalgety hoped he would after they did everything they could to land the standout yearling at last year’s national sales.
Among the top fancies at the sale, Cran didn’t want any other horse and ahead of Tuesday’s Group One he feels exactly the same way.
“We bought him to start in races like this and I wouldn’t swap him for any other horse in the race, that’s for sure.”
“Not even for two or three of them.”
“He caught my eye on the yearling sales tour and everything he has done since has impressed me.”
“We had to be patient earlier in the year when he had a bit of a growth spurt but it appears to be paying off.”
Dalgety also wouldn’t swap his colt’s draw with any other in the race.
Republican Party looks set to start from barrier 1 after drawing gate 2, with the race’s emergency inside him.
“It is a great draw, all tactics are left to Blair (Orange) but the horse has shown he flies the gate.”
“So, I don’t think there is any doubt we will be in front.”
“We won’t be wasting being gifted the draw everyone else wanted, that’s for sure.”
Kentuckiana Lodge gelding Casino Action hasn’t drawn quite as well as his stablemate, in barrier 7.
Though it’s not an ideal gate, Cran is certain the pacer will run well.
“He’s such a little professional that I am sure he will relish the pressure of a Group One.”
“His chances will depend a lot on how far off the leaders he is.”
“The handier the better because he will be rounding it off nicely.”
Stable headline-grabber Krug goes into the Group Three Junior Free-For-All after a Kaikoura Cup tilt that his team would rather forget.
Everything that could go wrong for the pacer went wrong, leading Cran to turn the page and put the race firmly in the rearview.
“He made me look like a goose at the start and things only went from bad to worse as the race went on.”
“I can only look at it as a complete turn the page job.”
“We will put that one in the rearview mirror and move on, mainly because physically he was about as good as we could have him going into Kaikoura and he has pulled up super.”
“I think we will move on and look forward to Cup Day.”
“His run at Ashburton was super after missing the start and as I said, he is fit and very well.”
“Back to the mobile, we are very much looking forward to the event.”
Invitation Only impressed on Kaikoura Cup Day when working hard and fighting on well to run third.
The three-year-old looks a strong chance of carrying on his great form in race 4.
“He raced super last week, he can rough it and tough it and he showed that again.”
“With any luck from his second line draw he is going to be right in the fight.”
“Physically, he is very well and we are expecting a big performance.”
Trixton Time also steps out on New Zealand Cup Day for Kentuckiana Lodge.
Cran hopes the trotter can put his father Jim’s colours in the frame on New Zealand harness racing’s biggest day.
“He is fitter for his first run back and is very honest and reliable.”
“He should run well.”
Tim Williams drives Trixton Time with Gerard O’Reilly to take the reins behind Invitation Only.
Blair Orange is behind Krug and Republican Party while John Dunn drives Casino Action.