After giving his all in the New Zealand Cup, Kentuckiana Lodge star Republican Party is ready to do the same in the New Zealand Free-For-All.
The start of Tuesday’s great race turned into something of a disaster for the Cran and Chrissie Dalgety-trained pacer, but an enormous effort turned that disaster into a very creditable fifth placing.
Though the four-year-old could have landed a much better draw than barrier 6 on Show Day, you won’t hear the Kentuckiana Lodge crew complaining about it.
“It would have been lovely to draw 1 and take the shortest way home, but we can’t all line up and start from there; it is a horse race,” Cran said.
“We were proud of Krug and Republican Party in the Cup; there weren’t many horses that worked and then ran on all day, let alone in the biggest race of all.”
“But they both ran very well.”
“Republican Party is going to need a little favour or two on Friday, but he has shown time and again that he is up to competing with the very best.”
“With any sort of run, we would like to think he can give them plenty to think about.”
Kentuckiana Lodge also start Defy Me, Fernetti, and Casino Action in race 5 on Show Day.
Both Casino Action and Fernetti have copped tough draws in barriers 8 and 14 respectively.
Defy Me will start from a much more suitable spot in barrier 2.
“Fernetti went a big race on Cup Day; he worked and really stuck on well,” Cran said.
“He’s copped the worst of the draws but with any sort of luck, he can go another good race.”
“Casino Action ran a handy race on Tuesday, but he is very much in the same boat.”
“As a six-race winner, he should be very competitive with this field if he is close enough to them.”
“Defy Me is just a baby compared to a lot of these horses, but from the draw, he should be very prominent.”
“His last start second was outstanding, and we hope he can go another super race.”
In a recurring theme for the Dalgety team on Friday, talent won’t be the issue when Franco Sinatra steps out in race 12.
But he has copped a tough draw in barrier four on the second row.
“There was good merit in his 5th on Tuesday; it was his first go against those real top-liners and he ran well.”
“With just the 11 starts he is only going to get better racing in this kind of company.”
“He is another that is fit enough and good enough to feature, if he can be close enough to them on the turn.”
Watermelon Sugar drew the outside of the front row on New Zealand Cup Day and ran a great 3rd.
In an incredible turn of events, he has copped the outside of the second row on Show Day in race 10.
“The run of draws the horse has been given lately has been quite incredible.”
“But he keeps fronting up and running super races.”
“It is the same story on Friday; it won’t be easy for him, but he is that well in himself it would be no surprise to see him put his hoof in the till again.”