NZ Cup winner returns

By Adam Hamilton

REIGNING NZ Cup champion Cruz Bromac launches a campaign aimed at defending his crown when he tackles a strong Minuteman free-for-all (2240m) at Melton tomorrow (Saturday) night.

It’s his first run since being sidelined with a fetlock injury after the Auckland Cup last New Year’s Eve.

Managing owner Danny Zavitsanos is thrilled to have him back at the track and expects a bold showing despite a back row draw (gate 10) and quality opposition, headed by Lochinvar Art (gate 11) and Zennart (seven).

“Amanda (Grieve) and Dean (Braun) think he’s at least as well, if not better, than the same time last year, which is great to hear,” he said.

“We’re sure he’ll run well this week and then it’s into the Victoria Cup two weeks later.

“All going well in these two runs and I told Mark (Purdon) he’ll be back to over to him to get ready for the (NZ Cup) again.”

Zavitsanos, who “lit-up” Addington with his post-race celebrations last year, said Cruz Bromac was booked to return.

“He’s booked with IRT for the 12th or 14th (of October), so we just need to be happy with his next two runs and he’ll head back over. It’s just a shame we won’t be able to go with him because it’s such a special day,” he said.

Champion driver Chris Alford is aboard Cruz Bromac for his return, which is a vote of confidence given he’d been approached to drive Craig Cross’ Zennart and one of their many runners in the Victoria Cup.

Kerryn Manning has picked-up the Zennart drive.

Lochinvar Art, who smashed the clock when a monstrous second to Hurricane Harley, has been backed from $1.80 into $1.60 to atone tomorrow night.

Zennart has firmed from $4.80 into $4.60 second elect, while Cruz Bromac is next ($4.60 out to $5).

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