Cran Dalgety, the man behind Kentuckiana Lodge, achieved one of his ambitions by taking out the NZ trainers premiership in 2013.
Now at a time in his life where he wants to encourage the enthusiasm of Nathan Purdon, the pair have teamed up in a partnership and, as expected, more winners were flowing early in the 2019-20 season.
Cran has had a rewarding professional training career, after learning from many of the best
His father Jim, a historian of harness racing knowledge and great nurterer of bloodstock, taught Cran the early fundamentals,.
He then assisted other top harness horse conditioners Robert Dunn (Dexter’s dad) and NZ’s No. 1 trainer at the time, Barry Purdon, in partnership with father Roy, when they dominated in the late 1980s.
After two years at Clevedon, Cran took two horses to North America for Barry to sell and furthered his experience with Vernon Dancer.
While based in Kentucky Cran gained invaluable knowledge from Carter Duer at Peninsula Farm and completed a three month shoeing course.
Another two-year stint with Barry Purdon and six months back in Canterbury with Jim Dalgety was followed up with a trip to Canada for a year working for Jim Hayes jun.
Cran then branched out on his own securing the West Melton property and turning it into Kentuckiana Lodge _ named after Kentuckiana Farm in North America.
The North American influence also resulted in Cran coming up with his trainer’s race silks.
The white, maroon Yoke, braces, cuffs, white Diamonds colours are modelled on those owned by the sport’s most successful driver, American John Campbell.
By July 1992 Cran was on the board first-up with Laud winning a 2YO race at Addington in the hands of the late legend Derek Jones _ grandpop of Cran’s wife Chrissie.
The win was a historic occasion as this was Derek’s final night of of race-driving at Addington and his last win there.Four months later, Cran had his first taste of being a Group One-winning trainer when Laud won the NZ Sires Stakes 3YO Final.
Cran has formulated the best systems he’s viewed around the world for Kentuckiana Lodge.
Consistently among the top NZ harness trainers over the last 10 years, Cran’s ride with former two-time Australasian Grand Circuit champion Christen Me has been a career highlight.
Christen Me numbered wins in the Miracle Mile,Victoria Cup, A G Hunter Cup, Auckland Cup, NZ FFA, Harness Jewels 4YO, NZ Messenger, Taylor Mile, Chariots Of Fire & Superstars Championship, winning $2.4 million in Australasia.
Cran has a top strike rate in Australian features, having four Victoria Cup wins (Christen Me,Desperate Comment (twice) and Bettor’s Strike, while he also had an Australian & Queensland Pacing Championship wins with Desperate Comment, the Cranbourne & Tasmanian Cup wins with Bettor’s Strike, and a Shepparton Cup with Pat’s Delight.
He has five Australasian Breeders Crown Final titles with classy youngsters, Sparks A Flyin, Smiling Shard, Bit Of A Legend (twice) and Katy Perry. He also won a New South Wales Oaks with Sparks A Flyin, and a Tatlow 2YO Stakes at Melton with Katy Perry.
Cran has also won most of the most NZ feature races, including two Sires’s Stakes 3YO Finals (Laud, Texican), NZ Derby (Locharburn), Northern Derby (Raukapuka Ruler), NZ Oaks (Classy Filly), NZ Sires Stakes Fillies Championship (Classy Filly),two Kaikoura Cups, NZ Sires Stakes 2YO Final, Harness Jewels 2YO Emerald & NZ Yearling Sales 3YO Pace (Smiling Shard), NZ Kindergarten & NZ Welcome Stakes (Orl Black), Sires Stakes 2YO Fillies Championship & Harness Jewels 2YO Diamond (Onlyforyou), NZ Yearling Sales 2YO Pace (Bit Of A Legend), NZ Yearling Sales 2YO Fillies Pace (Katy Perry), NZ Yearling Sales 3YO Fillies Pace, 3YO Caduceus Club Ladyship Stakes & Delightful Lady 2YO Classic (Bettor Joy), two Southland Oaks Finals (Bonnie Joan & Safedra), Premier Mares Championship (Bonnie Joan), a second Harness Jewels 4YO Emerald (Pat’s Delight), Harness Jewels 3YO Ruby (Donegal Bettorgretch), NZ Trotting Oaks & Hambletonian Classic (Chevron Express),
Cran prepared the NZ winners of over 1231 races, for $14,490 million in stakes in from 1992 until July 2019.
A new chapter in Cran’s illustrious career began with the Nathan Purdon partnership from August, 2019.
FAMILY: Wife Chrissie; daughters Laura and Madison; and son Carter.
PREVIOUS EMPLOYERS: Jim Dalgety (dad), Robert Dunn, Roy and Barry Purdon, Carter Duer (Kentucky, USA) and John Hayes jun (Canada).
FIRST DRIVING WIN: Tabella Ace, Cambridge, March 29, 1988, for employers Roy and Barry Purdon.
CAREER DRIVING WINS: 14 from limited opportunities, last racedrive 1995).
FIRST TRAINING WIN: Laud, Addington, July 18, 1992.
CAREER TRAINING WINS: 1231 NZ (as at end of 2018-19)..
BIGGEST THRILL: Winning 2009 Australasian Breeders Crown 3YO Final with Smiling Shard, and 2009 Victoria Cup with Bettor’s Strike.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Laud’s career cut short too early.
BEST HORSE SEEN: Lord Module.
BEST HORSE DRIVEN IN WORK: Desperate Comment.
FAVOURITE TRACK: Addington, because I’ve probably had the most victorious occasions there.
MOST HILARIOUS THING SEEN ON A TRACK: “Greymouth put on a two horse race off for the retirement from race-driving of Derek Jones and Felix Newfield. Felix was going to beat Derek so Derek bent over and put his hand out to try and stop him and fell out of the cart. He was driving one of my horses so I remember it well. It was just hilarious !”
FAVOURITE FOOD: Japanese tepanyaki.
SPORTING INTERESTS: Indoor netball, touch rugby, multi-sport Coast to Coast (in 2007 & training for next year). Played rugby union for Canterbury Country.
FAVOURITE MUSIC ARTIST: Meatloaf.
FAVOURITE TV SHOW: The Simpsons and Trackside.
NEXT AMBITION: Winning a Group One race under my ownership.
THREE PEOPLE YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Donald Trump, Tiger Woods and Pamela Anderson.
ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO CHANGE IN HARNESS RACING: “Having a drop-back handicapping system after not winning for a certain period. This would help maximise horses racing careers in New Zealand.”