Republican Party seals place in the IRT New Zealand Cup

By Michael Guerin

Team Dalgety’s dream double at Addington may have left them looking for a New Zealand Cup driver.

Husband and wife training team Cran and Chrissie Dalgety combined to win the two pacing features on Friday night with Republican Party downing many of our best pacers in the Lamb And Hayward Canterbury Classic after Coney Island Lou won the Kennard Bloodstock Lazarus Stakes.

Both used the passing lane to beat more favoured rivals who had harder runs but both wins were arrivals in the big time that showed the pair deserve to be in our biggest races, which for Republican Party means the IRT NZ Cup and for Coney Island Lou the NZ Derby.

The only slightly issue for Republican Party is Blair Orange drove him on Friday night and he will be busy Cup time trying to three-peat with Copy That while the stable’s usual driver Carter (son) will likely be sticking with Krug, who was a slightly luckless fourth not getting much room down the home straight last night.

“We will worry about that one a week or two out from the Cup,” says Cran about the musical sulky seats.

“He has always been a good horse so there will be a few keen to drive him but the Cup will now be his aim because he has earned his shot.”

The win was revenge for Republican Party over his Derby conqueror last season in Akuta, who was a brave second on Friday after sitting parked while Macandrew Aviator is also into the Cup after his big-finishing third, adding some feelgood to the great race.

A little further back Bach was good, Mossdale Ben unlucky, Self Assured looked in need of the run and Aardie’s Express gave the best indication yet after leading that this year’s Cup might not be her best target.

Her stablemate B D Joe was knocked out of the race in an early skirmish.

Dalgety says a largely unsuccessful trip to Menangle earlier this year has proved the making of Republican Party.

“I don’t think it matters where you travel them, getting them out of their comfort zone helps them mature and it definitely has for him.”

His immediate plans are unsure but Dalgety hints the Kaikoura Cup could be a good target for Republican Party on his way to the Cup.

Coney Island Lou held out the large charges from Who’s Delight and Charlie Brown to win the Lazarus, with hot favourite Don’t Stop Dreaming very close up in fourth after being parked in the 55.2 last 800m.

It was Coney Island Lou’s second major win on end and third lifetime but Dalgety says he hasn’t been the easiest equine project.

“He used to be a crazy thing,” he laughs.

“When we started with him he was a ball of nervous energy and hard to control but he is very good now.

“He has got to the stage with his last two wins he deserves his shot at the Derby so that is where we will aim him.”

There was plenty to like about the second and third horses while both feature paces showed trainer Mark Purdon was right this week when he warned punters his returning superstars would be vulnerable.

Earlier in the night Muscle Mountain reminded us all who the best trotter in the South, and maybe the most talented in the whole of Australasia, is when he overcame his 20m handicap with ease in the Paul Renwick Trot.

He was patiently driven by Ben Hope and went from sixth to leading inside 200m on the home bend and bolted clear jogging 57.2 for his last 800m.

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