Brave Kruizr leads House feature double
By Jonny Turner
Kruizr lifted himself off the canvas at Addington last week to add another win to his fine season and set up trainer Michael House for a feature race double.
The six-year-old looked hard at work and unlikely to be featuring before he willed himself to victory under the urgings of driver Jim Curtin.
As unlikely as winning seemed, House knew his horse could fight back when he started lifting early in the run home.
“He works like that and he races a lot like that, when I saw him lift at the furlong I knew he would get there.”
Kruizr was a star of summer, racking up Country Cup wins across the South Island.
His form had tapered off a little as winter approached but he has looked back to his best in his last two runs.
“What goes up in points must come down if you want to win,” House said.
“I gave him a break after all of his wins over summer and he takes a lot to get back from a spell.”
“First of all his fitness and then his headspace.”
“He should have won the week before but he missed away.”
“So he built himself back up to it.”
With Kruizr fit and back in form House plans to keep lining him up, but he is yet to decide where.
“I am just tossing up in my own mind about what to do there.”
“Between him, Warloch, Johnny Mac and Santanna Mach we have got quite a strong intermediate team which is spread out.”
“They have had a great year and won a lot of races and I would like to race them again next year.”
House completed a fast-class race double when Santanna Mach produced an impressive victory at Ascot Park on Saturday.
The win continued the pacer’s form revival which has him living up to the opinion House has of the horse.
“The day he qualified I thought he was better than the horse he qualified with, but he ran second to him.”
“And that was a horse called Let It Ride.”
“He has had some issues and ended up with an ulcer and then I was over working him.”
“He is one of those horses that will race for a long time in this country.”
“He dropped some points for a while but you gather him up and sort him out and boom away he goes again when he gets down low enough.”
House will bring Santanna Mach back to Christchurch following the completion of the Southland season before he returns next season.
After making a big contribution to Southland harness racing, House plans to have horses campaigning in the province again next term.
“I have enjoyed the year, it has been quite a little wee project.”
“I started out doing it one way and ended up doing it another with the management of it.”
“With the racing of the horses I found the best way was to race them regularly and not work them much and change horses if they weren’t suiting it.”
“We ended up with a wee nucleus there and contributed to the Southern racing scene quite a bit over the year.”
Santanna Mach was beautifully handled by Sarah O’Reilly who sits five wins behind John Morrison in the national junior drivers premiership.