Day At The Track

Krug makes history in Harness Million

10:00 PM 25 Sep 2020 NZST
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Krug (NZ) strides away to claim the first-ever NZB Standardbred ​​​Harness Million race,Harness racing
Krug (NZ) strides away to claim the first-ever NZB Standardbred ​​​Harness Million race.
Race Images - www.nzharnessracingphotos.com

Krug (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) confirmed his star status and made history at Alexandra Park on Friday night when producing an explosive sprint to win the first-ever running of an NZB Standardbred Harness Million event.

Driver Blair Orange’s early decision to hand the lead to main rival It’s All About Faith (NZ) (Captaintreacherous) and Mark Purdon, proved a masterstroke when Krug outsprinted the pacemaker to win the $200,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Colts & Geldings Final (2200m).

Chrissie Dalgety etched her name in to NZB Standardbred’s history books as both the trainer and part-owner of the inaugural winner of a NZB Standardbred Harness Million Final.

Dalgety, who trains in partnership with Nathan Purdon, went in to the race hopeful Krug would get the chance to show his best. And she got her wish thanks to Orange’s bold tactics.

“It was very, very exciting,” Dalgety said.

“Going in to the race I was just hoping he wouldn’t have any bad luck. In most big races that can happen – you can go sensationally and still not win, you just don’t know until you’re out there.”

Krug was knocked down to Dalgety and her husband Cran’s Kentuckiana Lodge Ltd for $155,000 at NZB Standardbred’s National Yearling Sale in Christchurch in 2019.

Though his speed and stamina suggest he is clearly an impeccable physical specimen, it is not just Krug’s athletic physique that makes him so good.

“Cran eyed him up at the sales, he has impeccable breeding and he is a beautiful horse,” Dalgety said.

“His personality is just outstanding, I kind of feel like he is half human sometimes.”

Krug’s brilliant manners and calm demeanour helped him relax perfectly in to the trail after It’s All About Faith’s early burst to take the front.

The star pacer came in to the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Colts & Geldings Final when going down narrowly as the hot favourite to race rival American Dealer (NZ) (American Ideal) in last week’s $128,000 Group One Garrard’s Sires’ Stakes Final (1700m) at Alexandra Park.

Rather than the defeat denting the Dalgety-Purdon camp’s confidence, the trainers made the most of the situation.

“Everyone just expected him to come out and win last week,” Dalgety said.

“It doesn’t matter how good you are, everyone is beatable. So, I think it took a bit of pressure of us, really.”

Krug cleared out to win by three and three-quarter lengths over Its All About Faith.

Stonewall Stud’s B D Joe (NZ) (Roll With Joe) ran a game third after working around the field to sit parked for the last lap of the race.

Last week’s Group One winner American Dealer (NZ) (American Ideal) produced another strong performance when running on strongly in to fourth placing.

Krug’s victory gave the honour of being crowned vendor of the first ever win in Harness Million history to Canterbury horseman Mark Smolenski’s Smolenski Stables.

The Bettor’s Delight colt, from former top class racemare Champagne Princess (NZ) (Soky’s Atom), was bred and sold by the estate of Smolenski’s father, the late leading trainer and driver, Jack Smolenski.

Attention now turns to next Friday's meeting at Addington where the running of both the NZB Standardbred Harness Million for 2YO Fillies and for 2YO Trotters will be contested. 

 

NZB Standardbred

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