NZB Standardbred Graduates Line Up in New Zealand Cup
10 November 2023
The race favourite Akuta (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) heads an outstanding contingent of NZB Standardbred graduates ready to make their mark in the $750,000 Group One New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Addington on Tuesday.
A powerful line up of six pacers have come through NZB Standardbred’s sales ring to be among the final field confirmed for New Zealand’s most anticipated harness race.
Akuta has been joined by Republican Party (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight), Krug (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight), B D Joe (NZ) (Roll With Joe), Got You Covered (NZ) (Art Major) and Bach (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) in the 2023 New Zealand Cup field.
Akuta completed a faultless New Zealand Cup preparation when winning the Group Two Kaikoura Cup (2400m), late last month.
Nathan Purdon, who trains Akuta with his father Mark, admits he couldn’t have hoped for a better lead in to the New Zealand Cup with his star pacer.
“Hopefully everything continues to go as well, it is not often you get a full prep right from the first race where everything goes to plan,” Purdon said.
“Early on, I thought the hard racing might have had an impact on him, but certainly with the way he has come through his races and his work leading into Tuesday, we couldn’t be happier with him.”
Cran and Chrissie Dalgety have a big hand in the New Zealand Cup with their two NZB Standardbred graduates, Krug and Republican Party.
Both horses bring strong form to the feature event, having pleased their trainers right through the spring.
“We couldn’t be happier with either horse, they’ve run well in the lead up races and we hope they run well again when the big day arrives,” Cran Dalgety said.
“They have both draw well which is a nice bonus.”
“It will be up to horse and driver to make use of those draws with a good beginning.”
“There are a couple of smarties in there, but our horses are healthy and well and we don’t think we could have them any better.”
“Hopefully they can do us proud.”
B D Joe comes into the New Zealand Cup after winning the New Zealand Cup Trial at Addington this week.
The Steve and Amanda Telfer trained pacer made a smart beginning before leading and running sharp late sectionals to win.
Both Got You Covered and Bach have shown their share of talent to make their way into the New Zealand Cup fold.
The Pacers make up the two ballot positions for Tuesday’s eagerly anticipated event.