Krug scores redemption in Junior FFA

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Cran Dalgety breathed a sigh of relief when his star pacer Krug was first past the post in the Group 3 Dunstan Horsefeeds Junior Free-For-All (2600m) at Addington Raceway on Tuesday.

The star three-year-old tailed the field home in each of his two starts this time in, missing away from the stand, causing some anxiety for Dalgety and his training partner, wife Chrissie.

Punters took solace in his return to the mobile on Tuesday, backing him into $1.50 favouritism, and he duly rewarded their faith with a dominant victory.

Driver Blair Orange took a positive approach with his charge from his outside gate in the seven-horse field to take an early sit outside Taipo before Orange pressed on for the lead.

From there it was one way traffic and Krug showed his class when distancing his rivals to win by 3-3/4 length over Need You Now, with a further three-quarters of a length back to Shan Noble in third.

While pleased with the win, Dalgety admitted to feeling more relieved than anything.

“It was more of a relief today,” he said.

“Any win is a great thrill but the two starts (this preparation) he made a goose of me in the stand and it’s embarrassing when he has a bit of a profile, but to get back to the mobile and win like that is a big thrill.”

It was the first time Dalgety’s colours have tasted success in the race and he was delighted to have his name etched on the trophy on Cup Day.

“We try to get any race on Cup Day but to get this one is a big bonus,” Dalgety said. “To win any Group race is a big thrill.

Bred by Jack Smolenski, Krug was purchased by Dalgety out of Smolenski Stables’ 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred National Yearling Sale draft for $155,000.

“We paid a lot of money for him and when we purchased him basically they are back to zero as far as value, so we have had to make him into something,” Dalgety said.

“We are fortunate that he has come on and done well and exceeded our expectations.”

Prior to Tuesday’s victory, Krug tasted success on nine occasions in his extended three-year-old term, three of those at elite-level, and Dalgety said it was pleasing to see him take a step up in what would have been his four-year-old season.

“They have got to keep on improving (to be competitive in open grade),” Dalgety said. “We have seen many age group stars but some of them just haven’t gone onto that next notch. He looks like he is going to get to that next notch.”

He will likely further test his credentials in open age level at Addington on Friday in the Gr.1 Mediaworks NZ Pacing Free-For-All (1980m).

“He is nominated for the Free-For-All so we may start him on Friday,” Dalgety said.

“He will be tired over the next day and that is understandable, but he is going to bounce back, some of them are going two miles today and he has only done 2600m.”

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