Monday's Ashburton Flying Stakes winner and NZ Cup favourite, Spankem, and smart West Australian-domiciled 4YO mare, Arma Indie, flew the flag high again this week for the Amaretto Bromac family.
Spankem, winner of last season's $1 million NSW Miracle Mile in 1:47.7 and subsequently voted NZ Harness Horse of the Year, had Monday's $46,000 Ashburton Flying Stakes virtually sewn up after the opening 100m.
A fast beginning wide out from the stand start had him in front, then he eased to trail stablemate Thefixer with 1600m to run. He always looked the winner with his speed from the perfect trail turning for home.
Spankem, a fourth-line descendant of former top 1970s filly/mare Ar Miss, wasn't fully extended to win by a length and a quarter from last year's NZ Cup winner, Thefixer (also co-owned by the Kennards), who is peaking again after his second start this prep.
The winner paced the 2400m in a strong 2:57.7, the leaders quickening over their last 800m in 54.4s and final 400m in 26.9s.
In other Bromac Lodge-related NZ Cup news, Cruz Bromac, who arrived from Melbourne at the Allstars Rolleston stables on Sunday, paced roughly on the home turn, breaking for a few strides, but got going again in the run home, just breaking 3:00 for the full distance
No abnormalities were found in a post-race veterinary inspection.
After a full week to acclimatize back to NZ conditions, Cruz Bromac will get another chance to race truly in Monday's Kaikoura Cup in his build-up to the $750,000 New Zealand Cup on November 12.
Returning to the Ar Miss-Amaretto Bromac family, former promising NZ filly Arma Indie, from Arma Courage, a Courage Under Fire half-sister to Amaretto Bromac, became the latest $100,000 winner for the family with a minor race win, but in a career fastest run at Pinjarra, West Australia, on Monday, October 28.
She was untroubled as s short-priced favourite to win over the 1684m in a 1:54.7 rate for driver Mark Grantham.
This was her sixth win in nine starts since being crossing the Tasman, and joining the Mark Reed stable. This was her sixth win in seven starts since resuming in August.
The daughter of Well Said, is like Amaretto Bromac, a grand-daughter of Arma Class, the half-sister to champion mare Armalight (1:55.4, 18 wins form 36 starts, $277,520), winner of the 1981 New Zealand and 1983 Auckland Cups, and winner of the 1981 NZ Free-For-All in record time.
Ar Miss, the dam of Armalight and Arma Class, is not only also the fourth dam of NZ superstar Spankem, but is also the same maternal family of this season's superstar pacers, None Bettor (1:48.8, USA), and Muscle Factory, (p3, 1:49.6), formerly the Australian 3YO mile record-holder last term.
Ar Miss (Armbro Del-Trixie Milne), won eight of her 36 starts during her top race career in the early 1970s. She was good enough to beat the boys on the Ashburton grass in the 1971 NZ Sapling Stakes and also won the 1972 NZ Oaks at three, a feat emulated by her daughter Armalight eight years later.
Amaretto Bromac, the 12-year-old Falcon Seelster-Arma Class mare, sold by Bromac Lodge to NSW owner, Helen Head, in July, 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.
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, whose NZ book has now closed this season.
Meanwhile First Class, the Bettor's Delight-Amaretto Bromac colt, sold by Bromac Lodge at February's NZ Bloodstock Yearling Sales for $50,000, stepped out for the first time this week at the Rangiora trials on Wednesday.
Prepared by Spankem's trainers, Mark and Natalie Rasmussen, First Class is co-owned by Spankem's owners, Phil and Glenys Kennard, along with the Breckon Racing Syndicate, Gary and Keryn Woodham, and Jim and Anne Gibbs.
He shaped solidly finishing fifth to $155,000 Cran Dalgety yearling buy, Krug, in a 2YO colts and geldings mobile pace.
Krug (2c Bettor's Delight-Champagne Princess) ran the mobile 2000m in 2:31.9, with First Class, driven by Tim Williams, being timed to run 2:33, well inside the qualifying standard of 2:36.2.
The leaders ran their last 800m in 57.8s and final 400m in 28.4s.