Quality Bromac Lodge-bred colt Zeuss Bromac tackles the first heat of the 2019 Breeders Crown on Wednesday night (Aug 7) at Shepparton in an exciting first rendition offshore for the gun youngster.
And his apparent inexperience with just three race day starts under the belt in New Zealand will not be regarded as a factor leading into a big month for the son of all-conquering sire Bettor’s Delight and former star filly and now promising young Bromac Lodge broodmare Zeta Bromac (Mach Three-Zante Beach)..
It will be the first time youthful trainer-driver Zachary Butcher also tastes the limelight as a trainer, at least offshore, so both horse and trainer have plenty to prove.
Zeuss Bromac vaulted himself to a new level when he produced arguably the performance of the day at the Harness Jewels in Christchurch on June 1, coming from the rear of the field to finish third behind unbeaten colt One Change I a 1:58.8 mile rate on a sloppy track on a bitterly cold day.
And that sparkling performance soon led to an easy maiden breakthrough win at Alexandra Park on June 28, prompting Butcher and the ownership group to take the next step and head for Australia.
“Zeuss” will match motors with the Australians at 10.30pm (NZT) Wednesday and leaves from gate five with a scratching inside him in the $10,000 Downbytheseaside Breeders Crown Series Heat (2190m).
It could even be considered a homecoming of sorts for Zeuss Bromac. His second dam Zante Beach was a prolific winner in Victoria registering 16 wins and 27 placings for legendary trainers Graeme Lang and latterly Peter Manning.
Zante Beach tackled the Breeders Crown heats herself way back in 2001 following success in an Australian Pacing Gold Heat in Victoria before heading to Brisbane to finish fourth in the $250,000 Pacing Gold Final.
The competition at Shepparton will be fierce, and Victorian trainers of course have a strong hand, particularly premiership leader Emma Stewart who is never far from the winners circle.
She has a red-hot Be Happy Mach, unbeaten in his last four starts and the winner of seven from eight starts, including the NSW Breeders Crown Final,, also Mirragon unplaced in just one of 10 career starts, engaged to run.
Safely through the opening heat, Zeuss Bromac will have a multitude of opportunities to make the Breeders Crown Final – though winning first time around at Shepparton would mean his road to the Final is so much smoother.
Zeuss Bromac: Races at Shepparton, 8.30PM AEST, 10.30PM NZT, Wednesday, August 7