Carter Dalgety's first NZ Cup drive - "it's unbelievable really"

By Jonny Turner

Carter Dalgety admits he has had to pinch himself in the lead-up to driving Krug in the IRT New Zealand Cup.

At just nineteen-years-old, the junior driver will be one of the youngest reinsmen to compete in the country’s greatest race in the modern era.

In doing so, the son of Cran and Chrissie Dalgety will follow in the footsteps of his uncle Anthony Butt who drove Premiership in 1985, making him the last nineteen-year-old to drive in the New Zealand Cup.

Like so many other drivers, Dalgety dreamt of driving in the most famous race before he even had a licence.

As he did that in his early teens, he had no idea the opportunity would come along so quickly.

“It is unbelievable really, I remember thinking a couple of years ago how awesome it would be to have a drive in the New Zealand Cup,” Dalgety said.

“For it to be happening this year – I have to pinch myself to make sure it's real.”

Given Krug is trained by Dalgety’s parents Cran and Chrissie Dalgety, it may look like he was in the box seat to get the cup drive behind Krug.

But it wasn’t their idea to book the young reinsman.

“When Blair (Orange) opted for Copy That, Dad rang around all of the owners and the idea to give me a go actually came from them.”

“For them to think I am up to the job means a lot.”

“Hopefully I can go out there and reward the faith they have in me.”

Krug has won more Group One races than many of the New Zealand Cup field combined.

He has been there and done that all across Australia and New Zealand, while several of his rivals haven’t.

That is at the heart of why Dalgety has faith in the horse.

But just as crucially, it also helps that the reinsman works with the horse on a daily basis and has a great bond with him.

“I know how good he is and how good he can be on Tuesday.”

“He is a very good horse and he won’t give it away when the acid goes on.”

“If we can work into a decent spot, he can definitely make his presence felt.”

Krug made a mistake at the beginning of the New Zealand Cup Trial on Wednesday.

Though it wasn’t ideal, Dalgety hasn’t let it dent his confidence going into next week.

“It all happened in a bit of a hurry – we went to stand up and they let them go.”

“It was a rolling start, not a stand and he got the worst of it.”

“On Tuesday, he will definitely have his chance to stand up and address the tape.”

“I have a good amount of confidence in him stepping away under race conditions.”

Dalgety has his nerves well in check six days out from the great race.

And he plans to keep it that way as the New Zealand Cup draws closer.

“The nerves haven’t been a worry, we will just take it in our stride.”

“Everyone has been great and I have had a lot of people showing their support since I got the drive.”

“I won’t be getting caught up in the hype, I will just be worrying about driving my own race and doing the best I can.”

Dalgety will have the whole family at Addington on Tuesday, with sisters Laura and Maddie joining Cran and Chrissie to cheer him and Krug on in their New Zealand Cup quest.

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