It’s all about team work.
But just how many people have played a role in the victory of Cruz Bromac in today’s (Tuesday) Gr.1 $750,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup at Addington is the great unknown?
Highly-respected horseman Dean Braun has been a constant during his rise to greatness with previous trainer Amanda Grieve also a key member of the team while leading reinsman Greg Sugars has played his part this season.
Obviously, the All Stars operation of Mark Purdon have also played a significant role, this is his second stint with the all-conquering Christchurch based stable following his highly successful campaign twelve months ago.
Then there’s the behind-the-scenes people that mean just as much to Cruz Bromac as the above mentioned, the ‘farriers’ on both sides of the Tasman have played a masterful roles in making sure the big-striding Falcon Seelster gelding is pacing smoothly and at his best when it counts.
At times throughout his career, he’s been bumpy and awkward but when right, he’s a magnificent sight to behold.
And there was no better sight than today, on the biggest stage possible, the best day on the New Zealand racing calendar.
Partnered by reigning New Zealand Driver of the Year Blair Orange, he had the eight-year-old away quickly and raced alongside early leader Classie Brigade and worked for almost half a lap to find the front, before being crossed by stablemates Thefixer and then Spankem, which left Victorian hope San Carlo exposed in the breeze.
Over the course of the 3200m stand-start staying feature, Orange had Cruz Bromac sitting comfortably three back against the marker pegs.
Race favourite Spankem continued to control the speed while San Carlo sat without cover, defending champion Thefixer sat poised behind the leader while Mach Shard, Cruz Bromac and Classie Brigade all occupied handy spots.
Approaching the home turn, San Carlo started to give ground which enabled Orange to make his move aboard Cruz Bromac and brought the multiple feature race winner with his well-timed finishing burst.
At the finish, Cruz Bromac scored by a neck margin from Spankem with a length away to the unlucky Classie Brigade in third who nosed out Chase Auckland and Thefixer.
The All Stars team produced four of the first five place-getters while they have now won 5 of the past 6 editions of the Cup.
The winning time was 3:56.9 - the mile rate was 1:59.1 – well outside of the Cup record of 3:53.1 set by Lazarus in 2016.
For winning driver, Blair Orange has finally lifted the monkey off his back.
Twice crowned New Zealand Driver of the Year, it was his 10th drive in the New Zealand Cup and his maiden success.
He has been placed three times previously, twice with Highview Tommy (2011/12) and also with Titan Banner (2016).
His tally of lifetime victories stands close to 1900 but today’s victory is easily his biggest triumph.
“This is what dreams are made of; it’s just an unbelievable feeling,” Orange stated.
“I’d like thank Mark and Natalie plus the owners for the opportunity, it’s an unforgettable day.” He added.
Cruz Bromac is raced in partnership by Danny and Joanna Zavitsanos, Peter and Zilla O’Shea plus Warren Viney and was bred by the late Bob McArdle of Bromac Lodge.
The victory for Sydney based Peter and Zilla O’Shea continues their amazing success with major features in harness racing after previously sharing in the ownership of former North American Mr Feelgood while they currently race last start Victoria Cup winner Bling It On.
The next leg of the 2019/20 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit is the Inter Dominion in Auckland on December 14.