Derby trials do not come any better than the brilliant performance Krug delivered in the Group Two Flying Stakes at Addington on Friday night.
The Kentuckiana Lodge star backed up his incredible Northern Derby victory by again thrashing the best of his age-group in the 1980m feature for driver Blair Orange.
Cran Dalgety went into Friday night's feature expecting a strong performance from his star pacer.
But the trainer admitted he was not expecting Krug to produce quite such a dominant display.
“I was expecting him to go a very good race but I didn’t think he would come out and win like he did.”
“He is just in a great zone at the moment and we couldn’t be happier with him.”
Blair sent Krug straight to the lead and set a strong tempo throughout the Flying Stakes.
If any of his fellow drivers were hoping Krug was going to come back to the field on the home turn they were left bitterly disappointed.
When the reinsman said go at the top of the straight Krug exploded away from his rivals who were left to fight out the minor placings.
“We didn’t really get into talking about too many tactics before the race, I just said to Blair go out there and drive him on your instincts,” Cran said.
“Blair summed up the race perfectly, like he always does.”
“We have been fortunate enough to have a bit of success with this horse and Blair deserves a lot of credit for the way he has handled him.”
Despite being the dominant performer among his age-group over two seasons, Krug remarkably was not rated as the favourite for the New Zealand Derby before Friday night's race.
Now there is absolutely no doubt that he is the horse to beat in the Group One feature, in two weeks.
The Dalgety stable's focus will now be on putting the finishing touches on Krug for his quest for a second derby title in just his second attempt.
“That run was exactly what we were looking for ahead of the derby,” Cran said.
“He has run super time and he has had a good hit-out, we couldn’t have asked for much more, really.”
“Now we have got two weeks to put the polish on him for the derby and we can’t wait.”
Krug stopped the clock in a sensational 2-20.6 time, producing a slick 1-54.2 mile rate.
Friday night's victory continued an incredible ride for owners Mike Hanning, Kevin McKerrow, Gary Merlo, Phil and Margaret Creighton, Grant Dickey and Ken Cummings, who took shares in the star colt after Cran selected him at the 2019 National Yearling Sales.
Alta Sensation produced an excellent effort in his first start since the Northern Derby when running home strongly at Addington on Friday night.
The three-year-old attacked the line strongly after being left last on the home turn from his impossible 9 barrier draw (over 1980m).
Cran has decided that Alta Sensation will be aimed at undercard races at upcoming premier race nights rather than joining Krug in the New Zealand Derby.
"He went super tonight, from his draw and how the race was run it was impossible for him to win but he hit the line really nice."
"He is a lovely horse and he could have gone to the derby but with the premier stakes coming up in the grades they are just too tempting to turn down."
"On his form and his run tonight he will be picking a race up very quickly."
by Jonny Turner