NZ-BOUND BLING IT ON RUNS VICTORIA CUP RECORD; CRUZ BROMAC THIRD
Former Kentuckiana Lodge foreperson and Victorian trainer, Amanda Grieve, couldn’t have wished for much better from Cruz Bromac, after his strong third to Bling It On in a record-run $A250,000 Victoria Cup at Melton on Satuday, October 12.
“”It was pretty exciting. It feels like we did win it by running third, being second-up in a Group One,” Amanda said.
Driver Greg Sugars immediately placed Cruz Bomac four back on the markers from his second row draw, tracking winner Bling It On (Luke McCarthy) in the opening Australasian Grand Circuit event of the season.
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, continued his remarkable success story, bouncing back from a bad fall two years ago to reach the top of the tree again.
The American Ideal-Alldatglittersisgold (Caprock-Glitter NZ) gelding stormed home to win in a record 1:51.5 rate (mobile 2240m), breaking the mighty Lazarus’s former 1:52.5 rate 2017 Victoria Cup record.
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,” McCarthy said of Bling It On, these days trained by Craig Cross.
“It’s hard to explain, he’s just such a perfect horse, he’s that smart. He’s getting collected, serving mares as we speak – he got collected yesterday and then jumped on the float and come down for Vic Cup.
“He feels as good as ever. Being an older stallion he should only race into better form through the preparation.”
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 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, inluding 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 decisively by 2.6 metres.
Cruz Bromac was able to get out and track the winner on the final turn and maintained his finish wide. He was unable to match the final dash the race-hardened winner, but it was a major step up for Cruz Bromac from his lower grade resumption win at Kilmore two weeks previously.
Both Bling It On and Cruz Bromac are now both likely to be NZ-bound for the $750,000 New Zealand Cup on November 12, with travel plans in place.
Bling It On, a half-brother to 2011 Aust. Oaks winner and 2013 Miracle Mile winner winner Baby Bling (1:50.5, 21 wins & $854,490, upsetting NZ’s Terror To Love in her Miracle Mile win), is now a winner of $1.6 million from 46 wins in 87 starts.
His in-form ex-NZ stablemate and Victoria Cup race favourite Cash N Flow,, sprung an early surprise from the two barrier by heading Queenslander, Colt Thirty One (ace), for the front-running role.
However, Cash N Flow (1:50.6), the year-older half-brother to former Kentuckiana Lodge Australasian Breeders Crown 2YO Filly winner Katy Perry (1:51.1, Aust), was swamped in the run home, finishing sixth.
Meanwhile, former Canterbury squaregaiter, McLovin, added to the good run of Victorian trainer Andy Gath with ex-Kiwis by winning the Group One $50,000 Aldebaran Park Bill Collins Trotters Sprint.
The 7YO Monarchy-Winfield Invasion gelding, a stablemate of another ex-Kiwi success story for Gath in Tornado Valley, had to race in the three wide line from the five barrier but found enough for driver Kate Gath to wear down front-running Big Jack Hammer in a 1:56.5 rate for the mobile 1720m.
Lily Stride, first-up since major NSW owners, Emilo and Mary Rosati, transferred their Stride Corporation horses to Menangle trainer Anthony Butt (and partner Sonya Smith), finished on for third.