A splendid trial effort has Kentuckiana colt Republican Party ready to make a late play towards the Harness Jewels.

Harness racing fans may not even know who he is, but a month from now if everything goes to plan the colt’s name could ring out in feature races around New Zealand. 

Republican Party was one of the most sought after lots at the 2020 National Yearling Sales and he has pleased Cran & Chrissie since he arrived at Kentuckiana Lodge.

The colt looked smart enough to be aimed at the Young Gun Series in Auckland earlier in the season but it wasn’t to be.

“We have been really happy with him right the way through and we did consider taking him to Auckland,” Cran said.

“But he went through a bit of a growth spurt and he was just showing a couple of signs that he could do with a wee spell.”

“So we chucked him out and it has really paid off because he has come back looking and feeling super.” 

Republican Party has trialled twice since returning to work, finishing third at Rangiora last week before impressing with his narrow second placing at the same track on Wednesday with Carter Dalgety in the sulky. 

That means the colt is now ready to start making up for lost time.

“We would love to win a race or two and get him qualified for the Jewels.”

“We have missed the Sires Stakes but he has got the Harness Million to aim at in the meantime.”

“They are ambitious plans but we feel like he has got a bit of quality about him, he’s in the well above average category.”

“He is ready to go to the races so we will sit down and work out where the best place is for him to kick off.”

Another of Kentuckiana Lodge’s 2020 class of two-year-olds stepped out at the Rangiora trials on Wednesday.

Ajira showed he still has a little bit to learn about racing when third in another two-year-old heat.

“He was a bit relaxed in his earlier trials so we put a set of winkers on him and he got a bit keen.”

“He did a Krug and got on the nickel a bit and accordingly he got a little bit tired at the finish.”

“He still ran third which was a pretty big effort really.”

“Physically he is right up to where we need him to be but we will just work on getting him to drop the bit and pick it back up when he needs to.

“We might go back to the trials or he could go to a maiden race, which should help move him along.”

Cran and Chrissie have settled on plans for the two-time derby winning star Krug ahead of the Harness Jewels.

The three-year-old will have one race or trial in the North Island before stepping out on Jewels day.

Which of those two options the Dalgetys take will depend on race programmes up north being finalised. 

- Jonny Turner