Cruz to relish right handed racing at Inters
By Jonny Turner
New Zealand Cup winner Cruz Bromac has a point to prove in the first heat of the Interdominions, despite having just etched his name in to Australasian harness racing history just days ago.
The All Stars pacer will begin his quest to go two places better than his third in last year’s final in the second of two first round heats at Alexandra Park series tomorrow night.
The 8yr-old’s fast finishing New Zealand Cup win and desperately unlucky third in the New Zealand Free-For-All should leave no doubt over where the horse is at physically.
What space the horse’s manners are in has been the cause of much more speculation as Cruz Bromac approaches his first start on a right handed track after producing mid race gallops in the races each side of his New Zealand Cup triumph.
The challenge of quickly adapting to right-handed racing is one that horses with much better manners than Cruz Bromac have failed to handle before.
On Friday night the veteran will attempt to prove that rule does not apply to him and trainer-driver Mark Purdon is confident he can do it.
“He seems to be much happier going the Auckland way around,” Purdon said.
“Sometimes you just never do know how they will be in a race.”
“But on his work at home he does appear to be much more comfortable this way around.”
Thefixer goes in to night one of the Interdominions in the opposite position to his leading stablemate.
There is plenty of doubt about where the horse is physically after the former New Zealand Cup winner produced two flat performances during the New Zealand Cup Carnival.
Purdon admits his stable is at a loss two explain why the 6yr-old race below his best.
“We were expecting better from and and we haven’t really been able to put our finger on the reason for his performances.”
With nothing appearing to be hindering Thefixer their appears no reason he could not bounce back to his best during the Interdominions, Purdon said.
Whether he is able to do that on Friday night will depend on what kind of run driver Natalie Rasmussen is able secure when Thefixer starts from barrier one on the second row behind Atomic Red.
The New South Wales raider looks to have more than enough speed to hold the front and gift Thefixer a perfect run in the trail.
However, the horse’s $18 win odds suggest he is an easy target if any of the main contenders in the heat come looking to take the front from him.
Fellow New South Wales rep and comeback star Bling It On could be one of those.
That is if driver Luke McCarthy decides to press forward with the Victoria Cup winner.
Bling It On’s arsenal of staying power, early and late speed mean the reinsman has plenty of options to help him negotiate the horse’s tricky barrier 7 draw.
The All Stars stable also start Another Masterpiece in heat two after Ashley Locaz, Chase Auckland and Ultimate Sniper compete in heat one.
After travelling well to Auckland, Purdon expects Chase Auckland and Ultimate Sniper to continue on from their excellent last start victories at Addington on Friday night.
Ashley Locaz rejoins his stablemates on the track after a minor leg issue ended his New Zealand Cup campaign.
His lack of recent racing may place him slightly behind his main rivals on night one, but Purdon expects quick improvement from the 5yr-old through the series.
“His work has been good, he may just need a run, but he is a horse that has raced well fresh before.”
“Drawing two will be an advantage for him, I don’t know whether he would be winning, but I am sure he will go well.”