Day At The Track

'Cruz' is back for another crack

08:15 AM 11 Sep 2020 NZST
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Cruz Bromac taking out the $50,000 Casey Classic at Melton earlier in his career,Harness racing
Cruz Bromac taking out the $50,000 Casey Classic at Melton earlier in his career
Stuart McCormick photo

A forgotten big gun of the Victorian harness racing scene-millionaire pacer Cruz Bromac-is right on track for another campaign.

The rising 10-year-old has put behind him what was thought could be a career ending fetlock injury earlier this year and, incredibly, the connections are now eyeing off the rich Victoria Cup next month.

"He had a lengthy spell on a property of one of the owners and has come back a picture," trainer Amanda Grieve, of Lara, said.

"We've had him thoroughly checked over and they can't find a thing. He pulled up lame in his off-side front leg after his last outing in the Auckland Cup, where he ran fifth, in late December last year," she said.

Just six weeks earlier, Cruz Bromac had scored the greatest win of his career by taking out the New Zealand Cup (driven by Blair Orange) at Addington. He was being prepared by trainer Mark Purdon.

The son of Falcon Seelster had also been most competitive in the 2019 NZ Inter Dominion championship, his second time competing in the series. Bad draws ruined his chances in both finals.

"Mark had vets look over him at the time. They couldn't find much, apart from pinpointing it as a fetlock issue, which a lot of horses his age might get through high level racing," Amanda said.

After a long and slow pre-training regime, Cruz Bromac had his first official trial hit out last Saturday at Terang and come through with flying colors.

"They did the trial in a comfortable rate of 1.59-4. The last mile was covered in 1.58-7, but the final half they dashed home in 56-4," she said.

"He pulled up great and his leg was fine. We ice it and that sort of thing, which just fits into our daily system. The plan is to trial him again early next week at Ballarat and then have a run at Melton in a bit over a fortnight.

"The Victoria Cup is then our main mission in early October at Melton."

Amanda Grieve

Respected horseman Dean Braun, who helps around the stables when not working at Melton Saddlery with his partner Pauline, has no hesitation in declaring Cruz Bromac as the best horse he's ever had.

"He's gone from an unraced three-year-old to winning 23 races from 50 starts and earning more than one million dollars-he's been a terrific horse," he said.

Braun spotted the pacer on a trip to New Zealand.

"I found him at Mark Jones' place. He was actually unqualified, but there was something about him. I got Blair Orange to drive him and that was it-I wasn't going home without him," he said.

And the impressive gelding, out of Crown Defender (Life Sign), vindicated Braun's known canny ability to spot a talented youngster, with four wins from his first five starts.

Cruz Bromac then went onto win the G1 Len Smith Mile, Inter Dominion heats, the G2 Casey Classic and country cups at Warragul, Cobram and Hamilton, along with other features.

He held a track record at Melton up until recently and last year finished a gallant third in the Victoria Cup behind Bling It On, who makes his return to racing tomorrow night at Menangle after last being seen in March when unplaced.


Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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