FORMER KENTUCKIANA LODGE FOREPERSON TRAINING CRUZ BROMAC
By Jeff Scott
Former valued Kentuckiana Lodge foreperson, Amanda Grieve, is chasing a Group One $A250,000 Victoria Cup victory with Australasian Grand Circuit star, Cruz Bromac, on Saturday week, October 12.
Amanda resurrected her professional training career in Victoria last month, winnng two races last week with Cruz Bromac and another NZ-bred, the claimer, Max Richter.
She had just over three years at Kentuckiana Lodge before returning to Victoria last Feburary to be closer to her parents, and assist another former employee, trainer, Dean Braun.
Amanda previously took over the running of the Braun stable for a time five years ago when she had a Group One win with NZ-bred Im Corzin Terror in the 2014 Ballarat Cup.
Braun, who formerly trained Cruz Bromac before his big season with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen last term, has decided not to renew his license this term.
Braun, however, is assisting the hard-working expatriate Kiwi horsewoman in her official head training role of Cruz Bromac at Avalon, 15 kilometres north east from Geelong.
“I’m very happy to have a horse like Cruz Bromac in my stable, but with that comes a lot of nerves,” Amanda said.
“I’m only training a small team of six.”
It’s not easy to emulate the standards of a horse formerly prepared by Australasia’s champion trainers, but she won first-up with him at Kilmore on Thursday, September 26.
Cruz Bromac, despite starting from the outside of the second row for top driver Greg Sugars, made the most of the easier resumption race on the night, moving up parked in a rating 80-94 pace and winning by 1.6 metres in a 1:56.6 rate for the 2180m.
Connections elected got the $20,000 race for the $2.10 favourite, instead of the Group Two $80,000 Kilmore Cup on the same night, won by San Carlo in a 1:58 rate over the longer mobile 2600m journey.
Cruz Bromac, last November’s NZ Free-For-All winner at Addington for the Allstars Stables, was unbeaten in three heats of the Victorian Inter Dominions in December.
However, the Falcon Seelster-Crown Defender gelding had to settle for third from a tough draw to Tiger Tara and Our Uncle Sam in the $500,000 TAB Inter Dominion Pacing Grand Final.
Cruz Bromac also ran third to former stablemate Thefixer in the Group One Ballarat Pacing Cup on January 10, and eighth in Tiger Tara’s Hunter Cup,
He rounded out his seven-year-old racing with a third to former stablemate and subsequent NZ Harness Horse of the Year Spankem, in the $A100,000 Canadian Club Sprint in 1:51.15 (mile) at Menangle on February 23, before spelling in Australia.
Cruz Bromac, fourth last year to Thefixer in the New Zealand Cup, has been nominated again for the $750,000 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup at Addington on November 12, and the Auckland Inter Dominions in December.
However, potential NZ plans and movements will be finalised post the Victoria Cup.
Max Richter (9g Badlands Hanover-Vance Marie), who has done exceedingly well in Australia after being sold after two unplaced Canterbury starts for Terry and Glenys Chmiel in 2013, delivered at Cranbourne on Sunday for the Grieve team.
A horse with a 1:52.9 mile rate best in, 2017, Max Richter won as a $2 favourite, recording his 29th career win from 226 starts, for earnings of $221,168.
Christchurch-born Amanda learned the ropes working for father Paul, then had stints in NSW with Paul Fiitzpatrick and her uncle, Dennis Wilson (who starred in the 1990s as the trainer-driver of NZ-bed Lotsnlots, and as a driver of other big-winning NZ-breds, Young Mister Charles and Atitagain).
She then teamed up with Ardmore trainer Tony Herlihy, who described her as one of his most valued workers, doing much of the behind the scenes work with former star trotter One Over Kenny.
She also worked as a starter’s assistant for six years at Alexandra Park.
After taking over the Braun team in 2014, she quickly won 50 races from 197 starts for over $A560,000 before returning to NZ, teaming up with Cran Dalgety at West Melton in late 2015.
Headline horse Cruz Bomac, a winner of $A555,815 from 21 wins and eight placings in 42 starts, including last year’s Group Two Len Smith Mile at Menangle in 1:50.1, is raced by major Geelong businessman, Danny Zavitsanos.
Mr Zavitsanos syndicated Cruz Bromac in March last year with four others, including wife Joanna.H
He also has the smart NZ-bred War Dan Delight (1:53.3, seven wins from 20 starts for $A82,740) with Grieve.
A younger brother to the former Cran Dalgety-trained 2017 Northern Derby winner Raukapuka Ruler (1:50.2, Aust), War Dan Delight won his first two Group Three NZ juvenile starts for the Allstars stable, taking out last year’s NZ Sapling Stakes at Ashburton and the NZ Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham in a slick 1:53.3.
By Bettor’s Delight, War Dan Delight and Raukapuka Ruler are from the former Colin and Julie De Filippi-trained NZ 2600m 3YO filly stand record-holder, Miss Elsie (1:55.3, seven wins & $143,633).
War Dan Delight was exported to Australia last term, running third in a NSW Derby Heat and fifth to Max Delight in the NSW Derby Final in March for the Dean Braun stable.
Amanda is also preparing the promising 4YO NZ-bred Holy Basil (Changeover-Artisitic Lass), who was unbeaten in both Victorian 3YO starts in February, winning in a 1:54.2 rate (1650m) at Yarra Valley, and a 1:53.8 rate (1720m) at Melton, before being put aside.
He was initially registered in NZ as Basil and sold after two trials in Canterbury for Terry and Glenys Chmiel last year,, including winning a 1:59 2YO trial