NZ Harness Horse of the Year Spankem (1:47.7), from the Ar Miss family of former Bromac Lodge mare Amaretto Bromac, is the early $2.30 NZ Cup favourite after winning impressively his second spring lead-up at Addington on Friday, October 4.
Now five, the Bettor's Delight-Crushem gelding worked to the front for co-trainer Mark Purdon and was too classy coming off a perfect trail, to win by a length and a quarter in a race record 3:11.1 (2600m stand),
Spankem was 0.3 of a second inside the previous race record, set by Lazarus three years ago, but 1.1 seconds outside NZ stand start 2600m mark, set last November by last year's NZ Cup winner and stablemate, Thefixer.
Spankem, who quickened over his last 800m in 56.2s, was havng his third start of the season.
Last season's $1 million Miracle Mile and top NZ 4YO winner is trending again in a positive direction.
Spankem improving on a narrow defeat by stablemate Chase Auckland first-up at Addington on September 13, comfortably won the Group Two Hannon Memorial at Oamaru on September 22, then repeated in last Friday's Group Two Canterbury Classic at Addington .
Spankem, a fourth-line descendant of former top 1970s filly/mare Ar MIss, continues to be the current Australasian flag-bearer for the family, with None Better A also starring for the family on the free-for-all scene in North America.
None Bettor last raced and won, beating former top Allstars pacer, the 2016 Sydney Miracle Mile winnner Have Faith In Me, in a ,000 pace at Yonkers, New York, on September 28, in 1:50.4 (fifths), an outstanding run on the half-mile track.
A six-year-old gelding by champion sire Bettor's Delight, None Bettor was bred in Australia from NZ-bred mare Limerick Star (Christian Cullen-Lil's Dream, by Smooth Fella-Miss Denover, by Boyden Haonver-Ar Miss).
None Bettor has been a revelation in North America this year, having won ,970 from 12 wins and five placings in 17 appeearances.
He's taken a 1:48.4 (fifths) mile best onf a mile track there.
The family had another win in Australia at Newcastle, NSW, last Friday, when Nikitaras (5g Shadow Play-Dashem, by Live Or Die-Chasem, by Soky's Atom-Miss Denover, by Boyden Hanover-Ar Miss) won.
Niikitaras, who led and won in a career best 1:57.1 mile mark rate , was notching his sixth win in 25 starts for $33,800 when winning the Sky Racing Active Pace for the Barry Matterson stable.
Bromac Lodge sold the lightly-raced relative to Spankem and None Bettor in Amaretto Bromac (Falcon Seelster-Arma Class, by Talk About Class-Ar Miss), to New South Wales owner, Helen Head, in July
Amaretto Bromac is the dam of former smart West Australian filly Angel Bromac (p2, 1:56.9, 4 2 & 3YO wins, $56,500), the runner-up in the 2016 WA Diamond Classic 2YO Final, and Phil Bromac, who won his Menangle maiden in 1:54.8 (mile) last month.
Phil Bromac starts from the outside of the front row at Menangle today for the Rickie Alchin stable.
Her last foal for Bromac Lodge is a yearling colt, named O B Legal, by Bromac Lodge's promoted Stallions Australia semen base sire Courage Under Fire,
First Class, a colt by champion sire Bettor's Delight from Amaretto Bromac, was sold by Bromac Lodge at this year's NZ Yearling Sales for $50,000 to two of Spankem’s co-owners, Phil and Glenys Kennard.