Kruizr is the Cups King

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

An operation, some gear changes and a new diet - behind the scenes a lot of factors have combined to turn Kruizr into one of the success stories of the summer.

The six-year-old has become the Cups King, winning three of his last four outings around the top half of the South Island. He’s taken out the Westport Cup, the Nelson Cup and the Marlborough Cup in the last three weeks (between Boxing Day and Sunday, January 17).

And it could have been four Cups if he’d gone one better than his second to Belmont Major in the Reefton Cup.

“Haven’t you heard about my Reefton curse?,” says Kruizr’s colourful trainer and part-owner Michael House, “I’ve won one race there in 40 years. I lived in Reefton and I hate racing there. It’s been disappointment after disappointment.”

“I could train Lazarus in the Reefton Cup and still get beaten.”

Notably though that one horse that did win at Reefton was none other then Kruizr, in a supporting race in 2018.

Elsewhere on the circuit House has had more success. He’s had seven wins on the grass at Patterson Park, Westport and while Sunday’s win was his first on the grass at Waterlea Raceway he’s had 13 other victories on the all-weather track there.

It was Kruizr’s eighth win in 37 starts, taking his earnings to $75,575. The horse was bought for $50,000 at the 2016 yearling sales, with the co-owners being House’s Mentally Stable Limited and long-time client Neil Rich.

The son of Rocknroll Hanover is from the smart Falcon Seelster racemare Black Maire (1:59.8, $39,891) who has already produced among other winners,the champion two and three year old filly, Lauraella (1:55.9, $649,946).

“He’s a great looking horse – 17 hands – he’s good gaited, an all–rounder.”

On Sunday at Waterlea Raceway Kruizr started off ten metres and was still six lengths from the leaders turning for home. But once Jim Curtin got him into the clear he powered home to beat favourite Plutonium Lady by a length, cutting out the last 400 in 27.9.

Before his run of three wins in four starts his most recent success was back at Addington in September 2019.

So why the turnaround? House says a number of factors are at play.

“The day of lockdown we got him gelded and he didn’t take too kindly to that,” says House.

Then came another big change.

“We realised that we had overfed the horse so we halved his feed. The staff did a great job of managing his feed. We reduced his feed rather than working him hard.”

“We also made some gear changes, with the earplugs, the tongue tie and the hood. They are came off....That wasn’t critical in itself but it was critical in making him happy.”

As for future targets? House is undecided though he’s eyeing up either the Invercargill Cup at the end of the month or the Amberley Cup a week later (February 8).

Either way he’s hopeful the winning run isn’t over yet.

“He’s sound and he’s healthy”.

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