Day At The Track

Big double for Dalgety

10:19 AM 11 Mar 2017 NZDT
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Cran Dalgety.JPG
Cran Dalgety

Nothing went to plan for Raukapuka Ruler in last night’s $250,000 Woodlands Derby - and that is what won him the race.

The Canterbury three-year-old lead throughout to hold off a luckless favourite Ultimate Machete, much to the surprise of trainer Cran Dalgety and driver Dexter Dunn.

“I am as surprised as anybody,” said Dalgety.

“I would have been thrilled with fourth in a field that strong because this Derby is the New Zealand Cup of three-year-old racing.

“So we had to use the draw (ace) and lead but the plan was to hand up to the first one of the big guns to get there and take us on.

“But as it turned out the ones who challenged weren’t the best ones so Dex stayed in front and he is still there.

“He is a lovely horse and we are thrilled but it also goes to show how special a driver Dexter is.”

The win capped a golden night for Dalgety and Dunn who also combined to win the $80,000 Delightful Lady Classic with Bettor Joy.

“To come up here and get two big ones is special but especially the Derby, I have never won this one before, its a huge deal to me.”

It was a night where leaders and those close to the speed dominated on one of the wettest Alexandra Park tracks in the last 20 years but Raukapuka Ruler’s time was still that of a very good horse and he should end up another open classer for Dalgety.

Earlier in the night trainer-driver Barry Purdon was all aggression to steer Mach Shard to an all the way win in the Young Guns Final, taking the first major juvenile race of the season in emphatic fashion.

Last season’s Karaka sales topper now looked a cheap buy as a stylish colt who has so much a head of him.

But one of the most heart-warming wins of the night was The Orange Agent’s victory over Smolda in the City Of Auckland Free-For-All.

Having only her second start back after 14 months away from racing with a potentially career-ending injury, The Orange Agent clawed past Smolda up the passing lane.

It sets her up for a glass of pacing’s queens when she heads to Addington in a few weeks to take on Dream About Me and potentially Piccadilly Princess in the Breeders Stakes.

Michael Guerin

The $250,000 Great Northern Derby

The $80,000 Delightful Lady Classic

The $96,000 Young Guns Final

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