The class of yearlings set to be offered at the 2021 NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sales have been given a big tick of approval by Cran Dalgety ahead of the gavel falling for the first time at Karaka on Sunday.

Cran has trekked the country in search of the Kentuckiana Lodge’s next Krug, Bit Of A Legend or Smiling Shard.

The Southern Bred Southern Reared Sales Tour was the latest stop on Cran’s countrywide tour.

The Kentuckiana Lodge trainer had previously been on the North Island yearling sales tour and had made private visits to view yearlings across Canterbury.

After inspecting around 95% of the sales catalogue, Cran has been impressed with what he has seen.

“The standard is definitely high this year, we have seen a lot of quality horses.”

“Naturally we would like to take a heap of them home, but it will depend on what happens on the day.”

“One thing is for sure, we can go there with a bit of confidence that we will be able to bring home some really nice horses.”

It is a good thing Cran goes over every yearling he inspects with a fine-tooth comb.

The standard is so high it takes plenty of inspecting to narrow down the ones that will make the Kentuckiana Lodge trainer’s hit-list. 

“The presentation is very, very high.”

“So we have to be on our game and keep our own standards high.”

“We go into each individual project leaving no stone unturned.”

“Going on farm we have the privilege of being up close with the individual horses.”

“There is nothing like getting in there and running your eye over them.”

“We take a lot out of it, it is definitely worth the effort.”

After giving each yearling is appraised there are still plenty on Cran and wife Chrissie’s possible buying list. 

Thorough study of each pedigree page – which starts as soon as the sale catalogue is released – helps further narrow down which horses Cran takes home.

“To be honest there would be about 50 of them I would love to take home.”

“But naturally we have got the list down to 10-12 lots we would really like to target.”

The final and most volatile factor in deciding which yearlings will come back to Kentuckiana Lodge, of course, is the auction process.

“A lot of it will depend on what happens in the ring, naturally you are not going to come home with every horse you like.”

“There were plenty of people keen to get their hands on Krug, but we were determined to get him.”

“We have had a bit of luck with coming home with most of the horses we have been keen on in the past.”

“And we would like to think that is just what we will be doing again this year.”

After the sales Cran and Chrissie will be syndicating the yearlings they are able to secure.

They welcome anyone interested in enjoying the thrill of racing a horse with Kentuckiana Lodge to contact them.

The smallest of shares in each sales purchase can be negotiated for purchase.

By Jonny Turner