Krug draws one for Saturday's Group Two at Menangle

By Adam Hamilton

Young Kiwi star Krug has a great draw in Saturday night’s $50,000 Group 2 Paleface Adios Stakes, but it’s left his connections with some serious thinking to do.

That’s because his main danger and noted brilliant beginner, Act Now, is drawn right next door in barrier two.

It is a crucial race for the pair as they shoot to secure spots in next week’s $200,000 Group 1 Chariots Of Fire (1609m) at Menangle.

Both find themselves in desperate situations after rare “blips” on their formcards last week.

Krug was a raging hot favourite in the first of the Chariots qualifiers, the Hondo Grattan, but galloped when he clipped a wheel while jostling for a spot in the running line. He galloped his way out of the race won by talented local Titian Raider.

Act Now, winner of the Victoria Derby and Vicbred finals last year, returned from a spell in last week’s Group 1 4YO Bonanza, but was unable to make any real impact from a horror outside back row barrier draw over 1720m at Melton. He finished fifth.

Act Now’s early brilliance has seen him driven with extreme aggression any time he draws to launch at the start. It will be no different this week.

So, what does Jack Trainor do on Krug?

He may – only may - have the speed to hold Act Now if they want to, but at what cost? It would almost certainly mean a sub-26sec opening quarter.

“I’d rather have one than anywhere else,” trainer Cran Dalgety said. “Knowing Act Now, we’ve got some thinking to do, for sure.

“Your first instinct is to take luck out of play and try and lead, but there are few other nice horses in the race if we (Act Now and Krug) go too hard early.”

Dalgety said Krug had come through last week’s mishap in good style.

“No issues. He’s raring to go again Carter (Dalgety) tells me,” he said.

This race is essentially the building block to the rest of the Carnival of Miracles for Krug and Act Now.

If, as expected, they qualify for the Chariots Of Fire, it keeps alive their hopes of also getting into the $1 million Miracle Mile on March 5. The Chariots winner gets automatic entry.

The other key runners in the Paleface Adios are Act Now’s talented stablemates Longfellow (seven) and Beyond Delight (10).

Rock N Roll Doo, who broke early and ran a massive fourth in the 4YO Bonanza at Melton last week, has also made the trip to Sydney. But his break last week put him out of the draw. Luke McCarthy drives him from the outside alley.

Back to Team Dalgety and their regally-bred and exciting filly Just Remember Me made it three wins from as many NSW starts when she led throughout at Menangle yesterday.

Carter Dalgety took the reins as she speared to the front from gate five, pinched a 31.9sec first quarter and then ripped home in 54.9sec to beat older mares in an important 2300m hitout as she prepares for the NSW Oaks heats.

Another winner of Kiwi interest at Menangle yesterday was former NZ Cup winner Cruz Bromac, who is now with Inter Dominion winning trainer Jason Grimson.

The 10-year-old worked to the front from the outside draw and won easily in a 1min51.3sec mile, closing splits of 54.4 and 26.4sec.

It was his first win since scoring at Alexandra Park on December 6, 2019.

It may well have earned Cruz Bromac a go at the Miracle Mile qualifying sprints at Menangle on February 26.

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