Dalgetys get the party started on Cup Day
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Cran and Chrissie Dalgety got the stakes party started on Cup Day at Addington Raceway when Republican Party got up to win the Group 3 Alabar Junior Free-For-All Mobile Pace (2600m).
The three-year-old colt was backed into $1.80 favouritism and lived up to his billing when taking out the Group Three by 1-1/4 lengths over Cranbourne.
Republican Party didn’t have it all his own way, with Cranbourne keeping him honest in the closing stages, while he had a gear malfunction with his boring pole over the final 900m of the journey.
“It (boring pole) fell off at about the 900m, but luckily he cornered really well around the last bend and it didn’t seem to interrupt him too much,” driver Blair Orange said.
“He is such a cool horse, you can ask him to run early and he just comes straight back to you and relaxes.
“He has got the all-round game, he doesn’t have to lead, he is fast as he is tough, so he has got a pretty exciting future.”
It was the second consecutive win in the race for the Kentuckiana Lodge and Orange pairing, with Krug taking out last year’s edition.
Cran Dalgety was rapt with the victory and said his colt belies his size.
“Getting the second big one of the day is a big bonus,” he said.
“He is a very small horse, but he seems to swell up out there and he moves his legs quicker than most.
“It looked quite daunting when Cranbourne got on the outside of him because he is twice the size of him. He has just got a great will to win, that is the key with him.”
Dalgety was contemplating stepping Republican Party up against the big guns in the Gr.1 New Zealand Pacing Free-For-All (1980m) on Friday, however, he is electing to keep the son of Bettor’s Delight to his own age group and continue on a Derby path.
“I would like to back him up in the Free-For-All, but I think it will hammer him,” Dalgety said.
“I would love to concentrate on the Derby more and work backwards from there.
“He is only a little fella and there are probably 10 Cranbournes in the race on Friday and they might bully him up.
“Obviously Akuta is very good and he is going to be the one to beat (in the Derby).”