Cran's New Zealand Cup plan for Krug

By Michael Guerin

Cran Dalgety reckons Krug was sick of the sight of him by the end of his last campaign.

But the trainer and stable star are back being mates again as the multiple group 1 winner eyes a delayed start to his New Zealand Cup campaign.

Krug is three weeks away from the trials after a longest spell of his career which co-trainer Dalgety says was much needed.

“He had had a big last year coming into free-for-all grade and getting his arse kicked a few times,” says Dalgety.

“By the end of it he needed a break. He was sick of the sight of me so we decided the best thing to do was give him over three months off.

“It has been so good for him. He has always looked a bit like a teenager but now, while he hasn’t got any taller, he looks more like a stallion.”

Dalgety says the long spell means Krug will target the Canterbury Classic as his comeback race and the September 29 contest looms as a pivotal moment on the road to the New Zealand Cup.

“We think if we have him back then he has three or even four options before the New Zealand Cup.

“He can go the Canterbury Classic then more than likely the Flying Stakes at Ashburton but maybe with a race in between.

“Then if he needs it he can even have a race after the Flying Stakes to get him spot on for the Cup.”

While Dalgety, like so many horsemen, was raised on the mantra horses had to be racing by mid-August to win the New Zealand Cup he believes those days are gone.

“I think the horses come up quicker now but also the New Zealand Cup isn’t the grand final like it used to be.

“It is more the start of the major races for the season and while it is the race everybody here wants to win we very quickly have a lot of races like the Inters, the Victorian races, the Miracle Mile and then back for The Race by Grins through until the Auckland Cup.

“So I am not that keen to be up too early in the season because they have to race so late into the next year.”

Dalgety says the stable’s other potential open classer this season in Republican Party is slightly more advanced than Krug and could be trialing in a week or so.

He will now give talented three-year-old Ohoka Le Bron the chance to earn a NZ Derby spot after his win against some high class opposition at Addington last Friday.

“He is getting better all the time and while the best three-year-olds are very good we will aim him toward the Derby and see if he keeps stepping up.”

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