Champagne popping again for Krug
By Michael Guerin
Different Krug, same result
That was the tale of Friday night’s Vero Flying Stakes at Addington when the country’s best three-year-old destroyed the best of the rest in the $50,000 lead-up to the NZ Derby in two weeks time.
That Krug won is no surprise, he was favourite after all following his stunning Woodlands Northern Derby win three weeks earlier and while both wins were achieved from in front, how different they were.
In the Derby, Krug famously over-raced to the point he shouldn’t have been still able to win but win he did, even after careering to a 12-length lead or more in the middle stages.
But on Friday he was far more relaxed for Blair Orange on Friday giving him the energy to cruise his last 800m in 56.3 and the 400m in 28.1 without looking to get to top speed until the last 100m.
He was miles in front of the late charging Yorokobi and B D Joe, both of who were good as was Pace N Pride and Luke John whereas second and third favourites Its All About Faith and Ragazzo Mach both dropped out, the latter after over-racing outside the leader.
Co-trainer Cran Dalgety was thrilled to see Krug hold his northern form so well but even more so that he relaxed so well.
“I wasn’t surprised because we took the blinds off but he was still very tractable and that is a sign he is a happy horse,” said Dalgety.
“And some of the other big names weren’t as good so they have more work to do than we do before the Derby.”
Win, lose of draw in that classic Dalgety says he intends to keep Krug up for the Harness Jewels at Cambridge in June.
“He is racing and acting more like a man now than a boy and I think he will handle it if we have to go in a couple of free-for-alls to keep him ticking over.”
Also Jewels-bound but with an Easter Cup to contest first is Amazing Dream who outstayed the boys thanks to a perfect Natalie Rasmussen drive in the pacing free-for-all.
The race was set up for those who missed the early burn when A G’s White Socks and the heavily-backed Self Assured went very hard early and when they buttoned off Rasmussen launched Amazing Dream to come sit parked and from there she held out Spankem.
She adds that win to her Auckland Cup success and if she can win the Easter Cup this coming week she must have claims to an array of Horse of the Year honours, even being in the frame for the big one itself depending on how the open class trotters pan out in the next month.
Amazing Dream will have further opportunities to push those claims in the Taylor Mile and Messenger before the Jewels.