2019 New Zealand Cup winner Cruz Bromac has run his last race.
The nine-year-old, who amassed 23 wins from 56 starts on both sides of the Tasman and over a million dollars in stakes, has been retired.
“Cruz Bromac was the best horse without doubt that I’ve trained. He put up some phenomenal runs over his career and his victories speak for themselves,” Geelong-based trainer Dean Braun said.
“He was a lovely horse with a kind attitude. He was still working super on the track at home any day of the week, but his best was behind him,” he said.
This season in Australia the son of Falcon Seelster had one win in six starts, compared to three from seven last season.
“Deep down I knew for a while that he wasn’t the horse he had been and (regular reinsman) Chris Alford was on the same page. Cruz Bromac hasn’t got anything to prove so after a meeting with the owning group manager Danny Zavitsanos recently, it was decided to retire him.”
The colourful Zavitsanos sent Cruz Bromac to the All Stars Racing Stables (Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen) in the lead up to the 2019 New Zealand Cup.
And after Blair Orange claimed his maiden victory in the great race Zavitsanos was the proudest owner at Addington, the Australian businessman shouting out “Aussie,Aussie, Aussie” and then enthusiastically embracing trainer Mark Purdon and twirling him around the birdcage.
Cruz Bromac’s breakthrough win followed his fourth in the Cup the previous year and his win in the 2018 New Zealand Free-For-All.
Cruz Bromac was from Bromac Lodge, the barn of successful New Zealand breeder the late Bob McArdle.
Braun bought the horse from purchased paid a modest amount for the pacer who was being prepared by Canterbury-based trainer Mark Jones.
“We bought him as an unraced three-year-old. Mark had a high opinion of the horse, so I organized for Blair Orange to drive him and the deal was later sealed,” he said.
Champion Melbourne reinsman Chris Alford partnered Cruz Bromac to six wins, the most of any driver, while Natalie Rasmussen was close behind with five, including the 2018 Methven Cup.
Braun said Cruz Bromac would enjoy his retirement at a property belonging to one of his owners.
“We’ll miss him. As well as being an awesome racehorse, he had a bit of character.”