Harness Briefs - 9th February

Dalgety the ironman

He’s made a name for himself training racehorses, but recently Cran Dalgety has had to train himself.

On Friday morning the leading trainer will line up with hundreds of other hopefuls on Kumara Beach to take part in New Zealand’s ultimate multisport challenge - the Coast to Coast.

It will be the third time Dalgety has taken part in the iconic event and he said that the training side of the preparation gave him a better understand of what he puts his racehorses through on a daily basis.

“I think I feel sorry for them, especially if they feel anything like I do after training,” Dalgety laughed.

Dalgety is teaming up with Stephen Bennett to take part in the two-day two-person team challenge, which will see them traverse from one side of the South Island to the other and right through the heart of the Southern Alps in a race which covers 243 kilometres of terrain on bike, foot and kayak.

“I said I’d never do it again, but here I am.”

“I’m looking forward to it though, it’s a great experience.”

Dalgety has a quiet weekend on the horse training front with star three-year-old filly, Bettor Joy his only runner engaged - at the Hororata meeting at Methven on Sunday.

Kiwi mares tackling Sibelia

Leading Kiwi pacing mares Partyon, Piccadilly Princess and Delishka will get the best opportunity to snare black type success from good barrier draws in Saturday night’s Sibelia Stakes at Menangle.

The A$40,000 Group 3 sees impressive last start winner Delishka start from barrier one for Brad Mowbray while the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen duo, Partyon (2) and Piccadilly Princess (3), will start next to her.

Blake Fitzpatrick, who is playing the role of caretaker-trainer of Delishka for Mowbray, will drive on Saturday night while Andy and Luke McCarthy have been engaged to drive the All Stars pair.

Former Harness Jewels winner Rocker Band will also contest the feature race for the Sydney stable of Mark Jones with Anthony Butt picking up the reins due to Ashlee Grives having her own runner, My Lucky Belle, engaged.

Butt will also be on board of both Let It Ride and Daryl Boko for his brother, Tim later in the night.

Derby winner gelded, back in work

Cran Dalgety is hopeful last year's Group 1 Northern Derby winner Raukapuka Ruler will return a better racehorse for autumn Group One racing.

A decision was made to geld the son of Bettor's Delight after he failed to deliver on a perfect trip in the Central Otago Cup at Omakau on January 2.

"He didn't try an inch. He should have bolted in," said Dalgety.

Raukapuka Ruler was the beaten hot favourite after leading, then taking a trail behind Tiger Thompson.

He had every chance with an inside run for driver Dexter Dunn but had to settle for fourth behind Tiger Thompson, Robbie Burns and Mongolian Hero.

"The three starts he had in December-January were all the same, so we had to nip that in the bud," Cran said.

Raukapuka Ruler, after going clear, switched off near the finish of the Ashburton Cup on Christmas Eve, lasting by the barest of margins over Mongolian Hero in 3:59 (3200m).

"He's just started jogging with the four-year-old races (Taylor Mile, Messenger and Harness Jewels 4YO Emerald) his missions.”

The Colt 45 Syndicate-owned pacer has raced only 15 times for six wins and two seconds, for $193,073 in stakes.

His two-year-old brother War Dan Delight confirmed his promise for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's Allstars stables, leading over the last lap to win the 2YO pace at the Rangiora trials on Wednesday.

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