A big week of racing for Kentuckiana Lodge kicks off at Addington on Wednesday.
Trainers Cran and Chrissie Dalgety will start runners at four meetings from Christchurch to Invercargill after seeking the best possible races for their team across the South Island.
Chevrons Bypass starts things off when returning to the races after putting black-type on her record with her third in the Group 2 Delightful Lady Classic at Alexandra Park.
The experience of her northern campaign looks a big asset against her inexperienced rivals, but it also comes with a cost when she starts in a Sires Stakes Heat at Addington on Wednesday.
“She is fit and well, she has bounced through the trip back from Auckland very good,” Cran said.
“She showed she is up to the nicer fillies around in her last start, it was a very good effort.”
“She is good enough to win and fit enough to win, but it is going to be a tricky little race.”
“Starting from the outside of the front line isn’t ideal but we are hopeful she can still go a big race.”
Trixton Time (race 2) and Chloe Rose (race 6) also step out for Kentuckiana Lodge at Addington on Wednesday.
Invaluable then starts for the Dalgetys at Ascot Park on Thursday.
The four-year-old went a big race at Winton last weekend after getting back to last and then making a long, sustained run.
“He is staying down with Nathan Williamson and he is quite happy with him,” Cran said.
“The horse in front of him galloped at the start last week which wasn’t ideal but I thought it was a big effort to pick himself up and run second.”
“Unfortunately he has drawn one on the second row again, but he is in safe hands and hopefully Nathan can work some magic there.”
A team of two head to Addington on Friday night for Kentuckiana Lodge including Northern Derby winning star Krug.
The three-year-old will take a vital step towards the New Zealand Derby in his first start since his jaw-dropping win in his first derby attempt, earlier this month.
Krug has had some quiet time since his Northern Derby victory and will improve after Friday night’s Flying Stakes.
But Cran is certain his star pacer will run a big race.
“He did have a few easy days when he got home from Auckland.”
“He had to really, even though he bounced through the derby run really good it was a huge effort so we wanted to really look after him.”
“He was a very fit horse in Auckland and he still has that fitness under his belt.”
“He will improve for the New Zealand Derby but I think he will race super on Friday night.”
Krug (5) has a draw advantage and the gate speed to make life tricky for his main rival in Ragazzo Mach (6).
Gate flyer It’s All About Faith has the speed to make both of the favourites work from barrier 4 and that sets up a tricky affair.
Where Krug settles is uncertain but one thing is for sure, Krug will not be racing as keenly as in his epic Northern Derby display when reuniting with Blair Orange.
“We have taken the blinds off him so he will have plenty of peripheral vision this time,” Cran said.
“I don’t think he will get as keen this time.”
“It is going to be quite a tactical race, especially with It’s All About Faith drawn inside us.”
“I will just leave it to Blair to assess things.”
“He will find a spot for him and I’m sure the horse will race well.”
Alta Sensation steps out in race 11, also in his first start since his Auckland campaign.
The three-year-old has copped the outside of the front line over 1980m which is never easy.
But Friday night’s field looks well within his range.
“His form was very good in Auckland and I have been quite happy with his work since he has come home,” Cran said.
“The draw is not going to make it straight forward, but I would like to think he is well up to this field.”
“So with a bit of luck, he should run a big race.”
A busy week is rounded out at Oamaru on Sunday when Kentuckiana Lodge lines up one runner in Lovesomewhere.
The three-year-old has copped yet another tricky draw, coming into two on the second row in his 2000m standing start assignment.
But with any kind of luck, the pacer should have plenty to offer.
“He is usually pretty good from a stand, he just needs a little bit of luck from the second row.”
“If he gets it then he looks very well placed against the older horses in that race.”
In their busy week, Kentuckiana Lodge also trialled Admirable, Cardinal Sin and Shards In Manhattan at Rangiora on Tuesday.
by Jonny Turner