A perfect display of pacing power saw Republican Party book his ticket into the New Zealand Cup on a big night for Kentuckiana Lodge at Addington.
The four-year-old speared along the inner to down a star-studded field to win the Canterbury Classic for trainers Cran and Chrissie Dalgety and driver Blair Orange.
The Kentuckiana team were thrilled to win the New Zealand Cup qualifier and to have Krug produce an excellent fresh-up fourth.
But to have Republican Party put on such a perfect and professional display put the icing on the cake for the Kentuckiana camp.
“It was great to win the race there is no doubt about that,” Cran said.
“I think it is pretty well known how highly we have rated this horse right the way through.”
“To see him run a nice second in the Hannon and then do what he did tonight, it shows he is right on track for the New Zealand Cup.
“As pleasing at the win was, it was the way he did it that was most satisfying.”
“He’s stepped away beautifully, worked forward to take up a position and then outsprinted them.”
“Having manners and ringcraft can make all the difference at the top level and that was a perfect performance.”
“Heading into the Cup, he is doing everything exactly how we want him to and there is still a bit of fitness to come.”
Republican Party and his owners Grant Dickey, Ken Cummings, Gary Merlo, Julie Rooney, Greg Ayers, David Schollum, Bernard Smith, the First Term Syndicate and the A & M Syndicate are now guaranteed a start in the New Zealand Cup through their Canterbury Classic win.
Krug made his first appearance of the spring with an excellent fourth behind Republican Party.
Unlike his stablemate, the pacer didn’t have the benefit of a recent race, but he produced an excellent effort.
“We were thrilled with Krug’s run, he’s worked home nicely,” Cran said.
“He still has got a lot of improvement to come, that was a really nice starting point for him tonight.”
Earlier in the night, Coney Island Lou put a quality field of three-year-olds to the sword to win the Lazarus Stakes.
The Kentuckiana Lodge pacer sped along the passing lane in a highly competitive affair to add to his already impressive record.
“He is just such a professional little guy, he has all the weapons in his arsenal,” Cran said.
“As I have said before he just keeps getting better and the harder it gets the more he steps up.”
“We are rapt with him, he’s right on target as we head towards the big three-year-old races.”
Carter Dalgety sent Coney Island Lou forward early before landing him a perfect run in the trail to score for owners Peta-Ann Congerton, Glen Moore and Russell Collett.