By Jeff Scott
Overport Lodge-developed Cruz Bromac is scheduled to return to the Allstars stables at Rolleston next Friday to continue his preparation for the $750,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup on November 12.
Avalon (Victoria) trainer Amanda Grieve confirmed last year’s New Zealand Free-For-All winner is to return to the top Australasian stables of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen at Rolleston for the NZ Cup, the NZ Free-For-All, and the Auckalnd Inter Dominions in December.
“He should arrive in Christchurch next Friday morning. The plan is for him to race at Ashburton on the Monday, so it’s all go here trying to make sure he’s ready for the Ashburton,” Amanda said.
“His was a fantastic run last week in the Vic Cup. I was very proud of Cruz. He even gave me goosebumps watching that last 200m,” she said.
“I think this season people will really fall in love with him as most people in Australia don’t regard him as a top open class pacer at the moment, yet he’s won the Len Smith Mile at Menangle (1:50.1) and the NZ Free-For-All on Show Day last year.”
“They forget he also ran second to Have Faith In Me in the Chariots Of Fire as a four-year-old. Last season was the most starts the horse had ever had in a season and to be unlucky in the NZ Cup, come out a few day’s later and win the FFA, and then go to Melbourne for the Inters and win all three heats was very good”.
Grieve says Cruz Bromac, now an eight-year-old by Falcon Seelster from Crown Defender, has really matured with his big season last term of open class racing under his belt.
She says it’s sad to lose a horse like him but with other commitments training a small team now near Geelong in Victoria, it would have been difficult to pack up for seven-eight weeks campaigning Cruz in NZ.
The logical move was for him to rejoin the Allstars, giving Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen six chances of taking out a sixth consecutive New Zealand Cup.
The top NZ trainers also have the $2 NZ Cup favourite Spankem, last year’s winner Thefixer ($5.50), Ultimate Sniper ($5.50), Chase Auckland ($9) and Ashley Locaz ($15), as contenders this year.
Cruz Bromac is rated a $11 chance for the cup on the NZ futures market for the 3200m cup.