Two more of Kentuckiana Lodge’s Two-Year-Old Class Of 2021 will make their highly anticipated debuts this weekend.
National Yearling Sales purchases will step out across the South Island with Ajira in race 1 at Addington on Friday and Republican Party to start in the Group 2 Diamond Creek Farm Stakes at Ascot Park on Sunday.
Republican Party was set to debut over the summer before Cran & Chrissie made the call to give him a short spell after he went through a growth spurt.
That decision looks to have paid off with the colt trialling superbly in his latest outing at Rangiora.
“He has come up super and we were very pleased with his last trial, he really got to the line and he was under a nice hold,” Cran said.
“That told us he was ready to get to the races and now we are off to Invercargill.”
Cran admitted he was a little surprised when Republican Party was opened the fixed odds favourite for the Group 2 Diamond Creek Farm Stakes.
But he goes into the race knowing the colt won’t lack class.
“I just hope that the bookies are really good judges, that is all I can say,” Cran joked.
“He will get better, he is not the biggest horse in the field, but he is very fast.”
“The only thing he lacks is racing and ringcraft and he can only get that by going to the races.”
“In summary, he is in the well above average category.”
Ajira has also pleased in his trial efforts leading into his debut in a two-year-old lineup at Addington.
The gelding got keen in his latest trial and dug deep to run third after Cran & Chrissie experimented with his gear.
“He has pleased us and he is ready now to get to the races,” Cran said.
“He is a typical Bettor’s Delight, they can be very relaxed at home but when they get to the races they tend to lift a couple of notches.”
“I am expecting him to do that and I am sure he will race well.”
Kentuckiana Lodge also start Fabrizio and Cardinal Sin at Addington in race 9.
Both will head back to the races fitter for their last outings.
“The race really wasn’t run to suit Fabrizio first up.”
“Off 20m and back in the field he didn’t have a chance when it turned into a walk and sprint up front.”
“Physically he is very well and he loves the mobile.”
“I think this week he is going to be very competitive.”
Cardinal Sin goes into race 9 after disappointing in his last outing at Rangiora following his booming third first-up at Addington.
Cran expects the pacer to quickly bounce back to his best.
“He went super first up but in hindsight he deceived us a bit going into Rangiora.”
“I will put my hand up there and say that was my fault.”
“He is a much better horse than that and we are expecting much better things on Friday night.”
Alta Sensation and Invaluable will accompany Republican Party on his trip to Diamonds Day on Sunday.
Alta Sensation looks a genuine threat in the Group 2 Southern Supremacy Stakes Final despite drawing the outside of the gate.
“This race looks within his range, he has been to the top level and run in the Northern Derby," Cran said.
“We have respect for the opposition but we definitely won’t be fearing any of them.”
“He should race well.”
After running into an open class pacer at Addington in Matt Damon and finishing just a length from him, Invaluable gets into a winnable race at Invercargill.
Cran hopes the four-year-old can race well on the home patch of his co-owner Ross McKerchar.
“He is very honest and he is a bit of a quiet achiever.”
“He tries his guts out and runs well no matter who he lines up against.”
“He looks well placed in that race on Sunday so I expect him to go well.”
McKerchar races Invaluable with the estate of one of Kentuckiana Lodge’s best longtime supporters, the late Trevor Beaton.
Alta Sensation also has connections in the deep south through his owners Keiran Fahy and Nigel Fahy, who is now based in the North with Breckon Farms.
The Fahys race the pacer with friend John Holding, with Chrissie Dalgety also in the ownership.