Republican Party and Invitation Only head the impressive line up of three-year-olds Kentuckiana Lodge start over the weekend.
Republican Party ‘broke the clock’ first up, producing stunning sectionals when unwinding powerfully to run second in his first run since January for trainer Cran and Chrissie Dalgety.
From barrier 8 in race 5 at Addington on Friday night, the colt could settle off the pace again for driver Blair Orange.
But he would only need to replicate his first up performance to burn past many of his rivals.
“Everybody saw his first up run, circumstances conspired against us as far as winning it went but he couldn’t have gone any better,” Cran said.
“He has a nice wee break and he has certainly better for it.”
“His work was very good leading into that race and it has been even better since.”
“As a horse that has run second in a Group One event we can go into the race with a fair amount of confidence.”
“It will be up to Blair to find the right spot for him and if he does we would expect him to go very close at the business end.”
Republican Party is raced by a group of loyal Kentuckiana Lodge clients including the A & M Syndicate, made up of Dunedinites Ann Mee and Margaret Creighton.
Ann’s husband Graeme Mee has been a great supporter of the stable and Cran and Chrissie would dearly love to deliver the couple a win on Friday night.
“As many will know Graeme has been laid-up for a wee while after a run in with a horse.”
“Thankfully he is as tough as teak and it has been very pleasing to hear he is at home and making progress.”
“We would like nothing more than for Graeme and Ann to be able to sit back and watch Republican Party win on Friday night.”
Invitation Only will take on a black-type event for the first time in his short career in the Listed Sires Stakes Magnifique at Addington.
After a big win first up, the timing is right for the pacer to step up in grade.
“It was a great win first up, we felt he would improve with that run and he has,” Cran said.
“Taking on the big boys like Sand Wave won’t be easy but the scratching inside us means he will start from the one-hole.”
“If he can sit handy, getting a nice run, they will know he’s there.”
Mitsi Gaynor returns to Addington on Friday night, stepping out in race 10 after her win at the same track last week.
From a similar draw, the filly looks a genuine winning threat again.
“She is in a great spot at the moment, she has come through her win well and from the good draw (3) we’d like to think she could go close again.”
Three-year-olds La Sabina and Ajira represent Kentuckiana Lodge at Ashburton on Sunday.
Both are last start winners, with Ajira sprinting to victory at Rangiora.
“He starts from the outside this time which makes things a bit trickier but with the way he has been training he should race well.”
La Sabina has a much better draw in barrier 1 in race 6, which looks perfect for her.
“She is still learning the game, so the one draw should suit her.”
“With a soft run she can use her speed, so she’s a good chance.”
Carter Dalgety drives Ajira, La Sabina and Mitsi Gaynor while Sarah O’Reilly drives Invitation Only.