Kentuckiana Lodge three-year-old’ Sugar Me didn't just have to overcome a tough trip to emphatically win at Addington on Friday night.
The Cran and Chrissie Dalgety trained Sweet Lou gelding showed a touch of class when racing three-wide without cover for much of the last lap of his 1980m victory after getting back to last from his wide front row draw.
Though on paper his career looks like it has been smooth sailing, with a win and a second placing to his name, Sugar Me’s path to the races has been anything but.
Raced by Sweet Lou’s owner Larry Karr, Sugar Me was purchased at the National Yearling Sales by Cran Dalgety and it is not hard to see why.
The pacer is a close relation, from the late Charlie Roberts’ famed Scuse Me breed, to Kentuckiana Lodge’s Miracle Mile winner Christen Me.
As he showed on Friday night, ability is not an issue for the well related Sugar Me.
However, his attitude has needed plenty of work.
“To be honest there have been times when we have been tearing our hair out with him,” Cran admitted.
“He has certainly got a mind of his own and it has taken a long time to get him concentrating on what he should be doing.”
“It has been quite an adventure, but we are on the right track now.”
Sugar Me’s win was pleasing for the Kentuckiana Lodge team who helped craft Sugar Me into a race horse.
But Cran was most thrilled for Larry Karr who has been a big supporter of the stable.
“Larry bought him as a yearling and we had high hopes for him.”
“We have had to be patient with him and I am rapt that we were able to get a result for Larry on Friday night.”
“Now that the horse is on the right track that patience should pay off.”
“On his win on Friday night he should pick up another one pretty quickly and hopefully he can go on with it and do a nice job.”
“I am sure he will end up racing up in America for Larry but we would like have a bit of fun with him before he goes.”
Sarah O’Reilly capped a great couple of days with her winning drive behind Sugar Me, moving to within six wins of John Morrison in the national junior driver’s premiership.
Sarah has played a key role in Sugar Me’s progression to the races and rides him in the afternoons at Kentuckiana Lodge.
Cran will be backing the junior driver as she tries to chase down Morrison’s lead in the junior driver’s premiership.
“We don’t have a heap of firepower at this time of year when things are a bit quieter, but we will be using what we have got to help Sarah.”
“Johnny is a great driver and it was be good to see him win it, but Sarah is a big part of our team and we would love to see her get there.”
“Blair leads the main premiership by about a million wins so we are hoping to help Sarah out as the season winds down.”
Sarah drives all of Kentuckiana Lodge’s runners in the South Island this week including Alta Sensation, Shards In Manhattan and Invaluable.