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Traveling 2624kms is a long way to go to drag race your stablemate up a short straight in search of group one glory.
But that is the unusual situation Zeuss Bromac and Perfect Stride find themselves in in the A$300,000 Breeders Crown juvenile boy’s final at Melton on Saturday night.
Of course Zeuss Bromac and Perfect Stride aren’t technically stablemates. The former is the first horse trained by young gun driver Zac Butcher while Perfect Stride is trained by Ray Green.
But Butcher actually works for Green and his Lincoln Farm’s bosses so Zeuss Bromac is trained at the same stable, eats the same food and basically lives the same stable life. Butcher, as the stable driver, has even driven Perfect Stride in his ealry races.
And yet here they are two unlikely favourites in one of the richest juvenile pacing races in the world.
Perfect Stride only ended up at the Crown after a mid-season lull that saw him left with petrol in the tank to race into August and is owned by huge-spending NSW couple Emilio and Mary Rosati, who are never scared to travel their horses to the best races.
Zeuss Bromac is an even more unlikely Crown story, being a maiden in June and Butcher’s first horse.
But since arriving in Australia, together naturally, they have both been very good in their heats and semi finals of the Crown and then their chances got massive boosts at Saturday night’s barrier draw where Perfect Stride drew the ace and Zeuss Bromac barrier four.
That suits both as Perfect Stride, even though he led to win his semi final, is a better follower and Zeuss Bromac is the stronger horse better suited to leading and rolling.
So there is a very real chance the two South Auckland babies could end up lead-trail in the group one and while they will still have to stave off high-class local Be Happy Mach, he has the handicap of starting from the outside of the second line.
“I think if they lead and trail, which would probably be ideal, then they are going to give the locals a good go,” said Green, who won the Crown two years ago with King Of Swing.
“I’d love to win it again and it would be great for Emilio and Mary because they put so much money into the game.
“But I honestly think our best chance is trailing because he loafs a bit when he leads but he sprints very sharply coming off another horse’s back.
“Would we beat Zac’s horse coming off his back up the sprint lane at Melton? I think we would go close. I’d love to think so.
“But if we had to get beat, and I don’t want to, there is nobody I’d rather lose to,” laughs Green.
Bookie have already taken money for Zeuss Bromac as the possible lead-trail scenario became more evident and while Be Happy Mach is enormously better performed than the Kiwis, Breeders Crown are notoriously hard to win sitting parked when the other favourites lead and trail.
So the two South Auckland unofficial stablemates could be each others greatest ally on Saturday night. Right up until they become each others greatest rival.