Top Australasian Grand Circuit performer Cruz Bromac is on track for the $750,000 Christchurch Casino NZ Cup at Addington on November 12 after running third in the Group One Victoria Cup at Melton on Saturday night, October 12.
Trainer Amanda Grieve was delighted with "Cruz's" effort, stepping up from his first-up win in a lower grade race at Kilmore two weeks ago.
"It was pretty exciting. It feels like we did win it by running third, second-up stepping up to a Group One," Amanda said.
Driver Greg Sugars immediately placed Cruz Bomac four back on the markers from his second-row draw, tracking subsequent winner Bling It On (Luke McCarthy) as the pace was hot from the outset.
McCarthy was able to work into the clear near the 400m as Buster Brady (one-one) had run his race and Bling It On was all business in the stretch, rounding out the race in style.
Bling It On, now nine, is a a remarkable success story, bouncing back from a bad fall and adversity to reach the top of the tree again.
The Amerian Ideal-Alldatglittersisgold gelding stormed home to break Lennytheshark's Victoria Cup track and race record, rating 1:51.5 for the mobile 2200m.
The leaders maintained the hot tempo over the last 800m in 55s and final 400m in 27.4s..
“He’s just an utter professional, just a brilliant racehorse, we got a beautiful run tonight and it just worked out perfect,” McCarthy told HRV Trots Media.
“He’s such a special horse."
Bling It On's future was in doubt after a bad Brisbane fall, just three starts after winning the 2017 $500,000 Hunter Cup inner, but he returned to the track six months later.
Following another let-up, he's returned to his brilliant best in recent months, winning four of his last five, including a Group Three lead-up at Menangle on September 28, the Les Chant FFA in 1:50.2 (mile).
“Everyone knows his story by now and for him to come back second up after having that long off and win a Victoria Cup is just a credit to the horse."
“He’s so sound and wants to do it, he’s a beautiful horse, open bridle, no head check, no boots, no tongue tie – he’s just a professional. The trip worked out beautifully tonight and lucky enough he was good enough to finish it off.”
Queensland second favourite Colt Thirty One, was given every chance from the trail by trainer-driver Grant Dixon, finishing stoutly on the sprint lane but all the honours were with Bling It On, who won decisvely by 2.6 metres.
Cruz Bromac (8g Falcon Seelster-Crown Defender, by Life Sign-Classic Blue Jeans) was able to get out and track the winner on the final turn and maintained his finish wide, without matching the final dashing sprint of the winner.
Both Bling It On and Cruz Bromac are now both likely to spice up next month's New Zealand Cup, with travel plans in place.