Krug takes on the Triangle
By Michael Guerin
A training track that initially terrified New Zealand trainer Cran Dalgety has helped prepare his superstar three-year-old Krug for a most unusual Australian debut tomorrow night.
The dual Derby winner starts his Queensland campaign in the A$21,300 Redcliffe Derby on the near triangle-shaped track which is the state’s second main harness racing venue. The race is set to go at 8.43pm NZ time.
New Zealand horses but particularly those trained in the South Island are more used to the big sweeping tracks like Addington and Ashburton and even the 1000m circuits in the north, Alexandra Park and Cambridge, have good transition in and out of the bends as well as excellent camber.
Redcliffe is totally different and the unique shape of the track has even put some Kiwi trainers off heading there tomorrow night as the winter carnival starts to get serious.
But Dalgety would rather give Krug a race than a trial as he counts down to the A$250,000 Rising Sun on July 10 and says he was initially worried about the Redcliffe track until he arrived at his new Queensland base.
“The training track where I am staying is only 600m and when I first saw it I thought, well what are we going to do here,” said Dalgety.
“But they work them different over here. At home we are all about long work and then speed whereas over here the tracks are sandy and you get their hearts rates up without having to go as fast so the smaller tracks don’t bother you as much.
“After working on this 600m track the last week I have no concerns about Redcliffe and he is a good pacer who doesn’t touch a knee (pace roughly).”
Krug has drawn barrier five in tomorrow night’s 2040m Derby and if he was able to secure the lead he would look a certainty but some of the Australians, particularly the more talented NSW pacers, might be keen to leave him parked and test his mettle.
That is where Dalgety’s brother-in-law Anthony Butt, who is the catch driver for Krug tomorrow, will come in handy.
Butt is not only one of the most experienced reinspeople in Australasia but one of the best researched and the ideal driver to sum up how to control the tempo of the race.
With that advantage it could surprise if Krug was beaten.
Closer to home the domestic harness racing action is at Cambridge and Addington tonight and Dalgety is confident he can win a race at later with Sugar Me (R8, No.8).
“He is a very progressive horse who will keep getting better so will be hard to beat again,” says Dalgety