Cran Dalgety can’t really look too far beyond the obvious right now with star juvenile pacer Krug, the shortened 2019-2020 season now to cause a few management headaches into the revised 2021 term.
But Cran and training partner Nathan Purdon are not alone. In fact anyone thinking of a Derby tilt in March-April-May 2021 is planning almost too far ahead.
“It might seem quite unprofessional of me. But I haven’t mapped out anything towards the Derbies. I just don’t think you can plan that far ahead given the way the new season will run,” he said.
“In looking ahead I am keeping a close eye on the Breeders Crown. We’d love to know where we are at. It’s Catch-22 really. I’m not sure whether we will be able to get there, whether it’s even going to be run this year with what is going on in Victoria right now (Finals are set for November in Melbourne).”
Krug would be heavily favoured to win a rich final of the Breeders Crown, and will be all season long on either side of the Tasman in both the two-year-old (postponed) events, and three-year-old classics which now fall side-by-side this spring. The brilliant son of Bettor’s Delight has a big head-start on many as a horse with race experience and already proven in quality, whereas many other classic race aspirants are yet to place a hoof on a track under race conditions. “It is great the Sires Stakes races are up and going. They were obliged to do it, though. Those races that are owner-funded did need to go ahead,” said Cran. “And the reason we have be keen to keep Krug ticking along quietly is that we will run in two finals at Auckland (Sept 18 and 25) and that’s not all that far away.” The specific races at Alexandra Park in September are the Garrard’s Sires Stakes Final and the New Zealand Bloodstock Harness Million. “We’re going to run him in a standard race at Addington next Friday (31st),” said Cran. “I just want him ticking along quietly to that next Sires Stakes heat at Addington (August 21) then we’re off to Auckland. Really happy with him, everything is going along smoothly.”