Day At The Track

Dalgety taking a different path

10:52 AM 23 Feb 2018 NZDT
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Pat's Delight,harness racing
Pat's Delight
HRNZ photo

Cran Dalgety is going against his usual modus operandi with Pat's Delight at Alexandra Park in the last race tonight and that is a pretty strong tip for the three-year-old.

The colt comes to Auckland for the first time with the Northern Derby in two weeks as his main target but after beating some serious mid-grade opponents at Addington last start he has to take on another bunch of tough older opponents again at Alexandra Park.

Making it even trickier is Pat's Delight being drawn wide over 1700m in a small field but Dalgety has some soothing words for punters who want to bet against Pat's Delight.

"Usually I would bring a horse north and race it next week and then into the Derby, that is my usual pre-Derby pattern," says Dalgety,


"But this horse is forward enough to take on older horses now, he is that ready," says Dalgety. "He is about 98 per cent right as we saw at Addington last week and even though he will improve with the outing at Alexandra Park because most Canterbury horses do, he is ready to go."

With plenty of gate speed inside him and a rugged Auckland Cup fourth-placegetter in Northview Hustler outside him, Pat's Delight is probably going to be driven for one run.

"But that was how he won last week and will have to be driven that way again but the small field helps."

Punters will probably want $2 to make Pat's Delight value though as being even one spot too far back, or forward, can be a hard way to win a 1700m race where they could rate close to 1:54.

Earlier in the night Dalgety kicks off his northern assault with Master Moonlite in race two, one of the two PGG Sales Graduate races for the three-year-olds. "I wanted to bring him up here at Christmas but he wasn't that tractable right-handed then," says Dalgety. "But he sneaks into this race and being $30,000 it is more or less his Derby final.

"But he is still not perfect right-handed so punters should be a little bit careful." After tonight's meeting Dalgety heads to Menangle to enjoy tomorrow night's Miracle Mile meeting.

It's a race he won just over three years ago with Christen Me.

So does he think champion pacer Lazarus can overcome a terrible build-up to tomorrow night's $750,000 sprint.

"When you look at a horse like Anything For Love, who wasn't rated one of the elites before last week, pace 1:48.7 in front you realise what a huge task Lazarus faces this week.

"He is a champion but he might have to go 1:46 to win and I don't think he could do that."

Michael Guerin

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