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Leppington trainer Kevin Pizzuto is glowing in his praise for lightly raced three-year-old Heza Bromac.  The son of Rob Roy Mattgregor has won four of his five career starts and harness racing trainer Pizzuto expects the gelding to make it five from six after he competed at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Pizzuto is pleading with NZ Jewels organisers to give Heza Bromac an invite to the series and is confident the horse would represent Australia proudly. “He by far and away is the best horse I have ever had in my stable, I’ve had some nice horses over the years but there is daylight between Heza Bromac and the rest,” Pizzuto said. “I’ve got no doubt given the right conditions and on the back of a good speed he could run a 1:48.0 mile, he is just a freak of a horse and has done everything I have asked him to do.” Heza Bromac was purchased by Pizzuto out of New Zealand for some clients but it took him a while to settle into his new surrounds. “He wasn’t right when he came over, he was lame and then he wanted to hang so I gave him four and a half months off and it did the trick with him.  His owner Danny (Zavitsanos) puts a lot of money into the game and I’m really happy that he has got such a good one. “Heza Bromac is one of those horses that takes a lot of work to keep him up to the mark, the harder you work him the better he goes.” Heza Bromac will be looking for his second win at Menangle this week after winning on Tuesday afternoon.  He produced a blistering turn of foot when racing off the speed and recorded a career best 1:52.5.  He also produced a stunning 25.6 final quarter when winning at Menangle three starts ago. “He should be winning again on Saturday night.  He is so versatile and so strong, I’ve looked after him and while he won’t be out to set any records this weekend, we have to be mindful that the Jewels organisers will be watching so I hope he’ll go well. “If we get the invite Todd (McCarthy) will retain the drive in New Zealand, none of the stars in New Zealand worry me and I think he would be right up there with them.” Stablemate Alta Jerome will race for the first time in four weeks on Saturday night but will have to topple Beautide if he is to be victorious. “I’m happy with where he is at, I think he is on his way back to his best and I’d like to think he could squeeze into the Len Smith Mile in a couple of month’s time.” Pizzuto’s winning strike-rate continues to be healthy and a lot of his stable’s success he puts down to the staff he has working for him. “Karen (Crouch) is great with the horses, so too is my daughter and then I’ve got Joe working for me as well.  Brendan Barnes has come down from Queensland and I think he is going to be one of the leading junior drivers in NSW.” Greg Hayes

At Penrith on Thursday afternoon, 9 July, 2015, Harness Racing New South Wales Stewards continued an adjourned Inquiry into the circumstances in which, during the running of the Bulli Cup (Listed Classic) 2300 metres at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday, 30 May, 2015, FREYBERG NZ from the vicinity of the 400 metres had left the marker pegs and shifted wider on the track. After taking further evidence from Mr. K Pizzuto, the Trainer/Driver of FREYBERG NZ, and Mr. J Trainor, the Driver of ALTA JEROME NZ, considering the results of two post-race veterinary examinations and reviewing the official vision of the race together with the previous six starts of FREYBERG NZ as well as its two subsequent starts, Mr. Pizzuto was charged under Rule 240. AHRR 240 states; “A person shall not, whether alone or in association with others, do, permit or suffer anything before, during or after a race which in the opinion of the Stewards or Controlling Body may cause someone to be unlawfully advantaged or disadvantaged or be penalised or is corrupt or otherwise improper.” The particulars of the charge laid being;  That at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday, 30 May, 2015 in Race 6 Mr. Pizzuto, being the Trainer/Driver of the horse FREYBERG NZ, from between the vicinity of the 400 metres until the vicinity of the 200 metres in the opinion of the Stewards made no reasonable attempt to drive FREYBERG NZ so as to remain on its racing line against the marker pegs which has resulted in FREYBERG NZ shifting out thereby  improperly disadvantaging SMOLDA which was racing to its immediate outside and affording  ALTA JEROME NZ an improper advantage in that horse was able to proceed unimpeded against the marker pegs.  Mr. Pizzuto offered no plea against the charge. Having considered all the evidence, the Stewards found Mr. Pizzuto guilty of the charge laid. After taking submissions from Mr. Pizzuto relative to penalty, the Stewards adjourned the hearing to allow appropriate consideration to be given to the Trainer/Drivers submissions, including his disciplinary record. On Saturday evening, 18 July, 2015 Mr. Pizzuto was informed that the Stewards had determined a penalty of a suspension of his licence to drive in races and trials for a period of nine (9) months to take effect from midnight on Saturday, 18 July, 2015.  Details of this decision were provided in writing to the Trainer/Driver on Monday, 20 July, 2015. Mr. Pizzuto was informed of his right to appeal the decision. Harness Racing New South Wales

One harness racing barn that has been having a great run in New South Wales this season is the stable of Kevin Pizzuto. While most of the bigger barns in the state have 60-70 horses in work Kevin only works a team of 24 at any one time. The smallish size of the team hasn't stopped Kevin chalking up 71 winners to date this season and he currently sits fifth on the New South Wales premiership. Kevin buys most of his stock in from New Zealand. " I have a lot of contacts in New Zealand who recommend horses to me and I watch them race and if I think they would suit the style of racing here I have a go at buying them." " When I think they are on their mark here I on sell them to North America or interstate and it is a system that has served me well," Kevin told Harnesslink this week. Two New Zealand horses that are doing a fine job from the Pizzuto stable are Freyberg and Alta Jerome. " Freyberg wasn't very expensive but he has done a great job since joining the stable a couple of years ago. " He has a best time of 1:51.7 and has banked $220,000 for me so I have a bit of time for him". "Alta Jerome has only been here eight months but has already won over $100,000 and looks a horse with a bit of a future." "He ran an unlucky fourth to Sky Major in the Chariots Of Fire and has kicked on since then so he could have a big season coming up,"Kevin said. Not only is Kevin importing New Zealand horses but he has now taken to importing his staff from New Zealand as well. Former New Zealand junior driver Jack Trainor landed at Kevin's barn and has not looked back since. As of today Jack sits eighth on the New South Wales driving premiership with 65 wins for the season and just recently won the Rising Stars driving title in New South Wales. Kevin is now looking for another young Kiwi driver to boost the staffing ranks. " There is room for another young driver in the barn." "We have to use outside drivers a lot for a few of the team which I rather wouldn't do and there is a great opportunity here for a young driver to get established in the industry." "As long as they have a good work ethic, they will get plenty of opportunities to prove themselves here, " Kevin said. With the success that Jack Trainor has had from the Pizzuto barn, there will a few New Zealand junior drivers tempted by the opportunity. Harnesslink Media

Former Kiwi Alta Jerome will be out to keep his unbeaten Australian harness racing record intact when he lines up in tonight's P J Hall Memorial at Penrith.  The Kevin Pizzuto-trained pacer has won two races at Newcastle since crossing the Tasman, with regular driver Jack Trainor confident he will be a big factor in the feature. “Alta Jerome is a nice relaxed type, and despite drawing the second row, I think he is going to be very competitive again,” Trainor said. “I have been able to find the front both times from wide draws, but going forward at the start is not really an option, so I will just have to wait and see how it all unfolds in front of me.” Trainor believes Alta Jerome has the ability to develop into a metropolitan competitor, which will be suited to Menangle. “Paul and Mitchell Kerr had him in New Zealand, they won six with him from just 17 starts and he is two from two with Kevin, but I really think he will appreciate the big Menangle track when he gets the chance to race there,” Trainor declared. “The long run in will suit him perfectly.” Alta Jerome’s win at Newcastle last weekend was the third leg of a treble for Trainor, the second of his career since relocating from New Zealand. “I got a treble not long after I moved over from New Zealand when I was working for Shane Tritton,” Trainor said. “I have been working for Kevin PIzzuto for a couple of months now and I am really enjoying living in Sydney. “Saturday night at Newcastle couldn’t have been better, The Empires Sister was good running down Chief Fairman… Ready For Takeoff had to do it at the start and finish when he beat Yayas Hotspot and Alta Jerome topped off a great night." GREG HAYES

In his last three victories the Kevin Pizzuto trained Freyberg has beaten several Gr. 1 performers.  Four starts ago he proved too strong for three time Gr. 1 winner Gaius Caesar, two starts ago he beat 2013 Blacks A Fake winner Ideal Scott and Inter Dominion placegetter Seel N Print and last weekend he spoiled the party when he ran down Smoken Up in what will be the dual Miracle Mile winner's last run at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "He is going really well at the moment, actually it is probably better described as flying because he is just getting better and better," Pizzuto said. "What I am really happy with is that he has developed some gate speed while he has been racing up in the grades, when he first arrived from New Zealand he didn't possess much early speed at all but with the experience against the better ones he is learning and his gate speed is now becoming vital in these races." Freyberg has been driven predominantly by Inter Dominion winning reinsman James Rattray and Pizzuto acknowledges that he will be on the lookout for a new driver next season. "I want to target Freyberg for races like the Miracle Mile and that means he may clash with Beautide at some stage and James won't be able to drive my horse, we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it and it isn't a major worry but it is something that I have been thinking about with all of his good recent runs. "Freyberg arrived in Australia and was eligible to compete in C2 races and I actually took him to Penrith for his first three starts and he ended up winning five in a row before he was beaten for me." Freyberg is no stranger to Gr. 1 level after he placed third in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown last December behind Washakie. "I'm going to set him a pretty big campaign next season and hopefully he can work his way into some of the big races, it would be nice to have a runner in the big ones." By Greg Hayes (HRNSW)                                                                                                                                         

In his last three victories the Kevin Pizzuto trained Freyberg has beaten several Gr. 1 performers. Four starts ago he proved too strong for three time Gr. 1 winner Gaius Caesar, two starts ago he beat 2013 Blacks A Fake winner Ideal Scott and Inter Dominion placegetter Seel N Print and last weekend he spoiled the party when he ran down Smoken Up in what will be the dual Miracle Mile winner's last run at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "He is going really well at the moment, actually it is probably better described as flying because he is just getting better and better," Pizzuto said. "What I am really happy with is that he has developed some gate speed while he has been racing up in the grades, when he first arrived from New Zealand he didn't possess much early speed at all but with the experience against the better ones he is learning and his gate speed is now becoming vital in these races." Freyberg has been driven predominantly by Inter Dominion winning reinsman James Rattray and Pizzuto acknowledges that he will be on the lookout for a new driver next season. "I want to target Freyberg for races like the Miracle Mile and that means he may clash with Beautide at some stage and James won't be able to drive my horse, we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it and it isn't a major worry but it is something that I have been thinking about with all of his good recent runs. "Freyberg arrived in Australia and was eligible to compete in C2 races and I actually took him to Penrith for his first three starts and he ended up winning five in a row before he was beaten for me." Freyberg is no stranger to Gr. 1 level after he placed third in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown last December behind Washakie. "I'm going to set him a pretty big campaign next season and hopefully he can work his way into some of the big races, it would be nice to have a runner in the big ones." By Greg Hayes (Harness Racing NSW)

Sydney pacer Freyberg ran the race of his life to upstage Smoken Up at the Lance Justice trained superstar’s New South Wales farewell run on Saturday night. The Victorian champion fired out of gate seven to find the lead early with a 26.1-second first quarter while Freyberg jumped straight on to Smoken Up’s back. Justice was able to give Smoken Up a breather in the middle stages before stoking him up rounding the final bend. Smoken Up kicked on like he’s done so many times before over the 1609m journey he’s come to call his own at Menangle and looked home for all money with 100m to go before Freyberg saw daylight. Once the Kevin Pizzuto trained gelding got to the outside he sprouted wings to pip Smoken Up on the post by a head in a mile rate of 1:51.7. Smoken Up will head to Globe Derby, South Australia, next month for his final run at the venue where he’s won four Group 1 SA Cups. Then he will cap his career with a farewell run at Tabcorp Park Melton – likely to be in September in the Casey Classic on Saturday, September 6 – where all racing fans will be able to salute the superstar one final time at his home track. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia) Freyberg  

Inter Dominion and Miracle Mile winner Beautide has been back in work for about a month and trainer James Rattray is confident his stable star is on track to defend his sprint title in November. Beautide has already had a few strong gallops after his month long spell after winning the Len Smith Mile. "I'm extremely happy with him at the moment. He came back from his spell and had put on some condition and looks really strong so I'm looking forward to getting him back to the races," Rattray said. "In saying that, I'm in no rush to get him back. At this stage I think he would only have one or two runs before going around in a race like the Newcastle Mile. I might take him to the trials once or twice as well just to make sure he was ready to go." Fresh from a break in Europe, Rattray is currently only working a small team. "I've only got a few in work at the moment but it is a good time of the year to be working a small team, we got back from Sweden after going to the Elitlopp for ten days and had a really good time." "I got the chance to catch up with some of my American friends who were also in Sweden at the time and there were a few Aussies over there that I spent some time with as well." Rattray drove the Kevin Pizzuto trained Freyberg to victory in Sunday's Free-For-All at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "Freyberg is a really nice horse, he has been racing against some quality horses lately but he proved he is tough horse over the weekend with the win over the 2300 metres." "He loves leading in his races and when he got left alone in front he was always going to be very hard to beat. I think his recent runs have all been pretty good." By Greg Hayes (Harness Racing NSW)

Trainer Kevin Pizzuto has confirmed that in-form mare Simple Saver has been sold and will continue her racing career in North America. The daughter of Live Or Die arrived in Australia from New Zealand with only an average record but hit her straps under Pizzuto's training winning seven races in succession before finishing second at her last run for the stable in the Robin Dundee Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle. "The owner got a good offer for her to go to America and she has been sold, it is a bit unfortunate because she was racing so well and did a great job since she joined my stable," Pizzuto said. "I knew she had ability when she arrived, I gave her four weeks off and when I was working her up I contacted the owner and I told him that she would win five straight and I think he thought I was joking but in the end she proved me right." While Pizzuto may have lost one of his stable stars, he was pleased with Freyberg's performance in the Treuer Memorial after he finished third to Washakie at Bankstown on Saturday night. "It was my first placing in a Gr. 1, he is a very nice horse and has come a long way in a very short period of time, he got held up a couple of times on Saturday night and still hit the line very strongly." "My Dad and I own him, I bought him from New Zealand and I think he is only going to get better with a bit more racing against the better horses." Pizzuto is planning on taking Freyberg to the Newcastle Cup later this week. "He's pulled up really well, he recovers very quickly after his races all the time so I'm going to take him to the Newcastle Cup this week before taking him back to Menangle but it won't be too long before I give him a ten day break." "I've got a team of 19 horses in work and I'm very happy with how everything is going for my team at the moment." Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |      

Remember West Australian harness racing legend - Pure Steel? The first Aussie pacer to win $500,000 and the only one to win the Hunter Cup three times. Karen Crouch was born a year after the champion was foaled. The same year she was born her father Charlie Mercia sold the son of Toledo Hanover for $2,750 as a yearling.

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards today (Wednesday January 23) continued an inquiry that was opened at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday 15 December 2012 into the conduct of Trainer/Driver Mr Kevin Pizzuto both in the Stewards room and the stabling area.

Harness Racing New South Wales today (Wednesday December 12) concluded the adjourned inquiry into the driving tactics adopted by Driver Kevin Pizzuto (Leading Lavross NZ) in Race 1, the Slingsby Holdings Pace (1609 metres) at Menangle on Saturday 8 December 2012.

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) today (Thursday May 31) inquired into an incident which occurred at Bankstown paceway following the running of Race 6 on Friday 18 May 2012.

Harness Racing New South Wales stewards today (September 28) concluded the inquiry into the driving tactics adopted by Mr Kevin Pizzuto in relation to his drive on Our Amazing Art (NZ) at the Menangle harness meeting on 20 September 2011.

New Zealand harness racing driver James Stormont will fly to Sydney later this week to drive at Saturday's Tabcorp Park Menangle meeting for local trainer Kevin Pizzuto. Stormont is set to drive in five races but will return home next week before deciding on his long term future.

Assunta Giuebega was a complete harness racing novice 18 months ago. In fact the only thing she knew about racehorses was having a little flutter on the Melbourne Cup each year. Then her whole attitude to racing changed thanks to the persistence of Leppington (Sydney) trainer Kevin Pizzuto.

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