Z is for Zavitsanos
For the final A-Z here is one which is both A and Z : A for Aussie and Z for Zavitsanos
When the horse he part owns Cruz Bromac won the New Zealand Cup at Addington last November Danny Zavitsanos was beside himself. The jubilant Geelong businessman was punching the air in delight, shouting “Aussie Aussie Aussie”.
After finishing fourth in the Cup the previous year Cruz Bromac was sent to the All Stars stable from Australia a month out from the big race.
Blair Orange had never driven the horse on race-day before but prevailed at double figure odds, with Mark Purdon-Natalie Rasmussen runners filling four of the top five places.
Though Zavitsanos said in one interview “What can I say? I’m lost for words” clearly he found his voice pretty quickly, telling everyone who would listen to him that “he had a plan and it worked”.
He was like a man possessed at the Cup presentation, beaming with pride and as pumped as any winning owner on the big day.
While Orange got a hearty handshake and a bit of a cuddle, Zavitsanos picked Purdon up and spun him around.
Purdon had provided Zavitsanos with his first Group One as well when Enhance Your Calm won at the Harness Jewels at Cambridge in 2018, beating a field that included Oscar Bonavena and the now-retired Tickle Me Pink.
A big investor in harness racing Zavitsanos and his wife Joanna reckon they have had hundreds of winners over the years and while Cambridge broke his Group one drought his win at Addington was something he had only dreamed of doing.
Judging from the birdcage antics the celebrations would have gone deep into the night - then again in this part of the world the New Zealand Cup is the most prestigious trophy of them all.