Cruz Bromac (right) has the measure of My Field Marshal (third right). Photo: Ashlea Brennan
Sunday’s Len Smith Mile at Menangle was full of drama, with an outsider winning and the race favourite taking no serious part.
Kiwi-bred gelding Cruz Bromac caused an upset leading all the way for his trainer Kevin Pizzuto and young driving ace Chris Geary.
My Field Marshal, owned in Dunedin and trained by Sydney-based New Zealander Tim Butt, trailed throughout and ran a brave second in the 1.50.1 mile.
The race was robbed of some interest when hotpot Soho Tribeca dipped his head late in the score-up, stumbled and galloped, taking no serious part for trainer/driver Michael Stanley.
Pizzuto has only had Cruz Bromac for a few weeks but declared post-race that he was supremely confident.
His trainer Kevin Pizzuto later relayed how confident he was going into the Len Smith Mile:
“He worked so well when I fast-worked him yesterday morning I actually told the owner he was a moral,” he told the National Trotguide.
“As a matter of fact, we were so confident we probably won more on the punt then the race was worth so it’s been a pretty good result all around.”
Co-owner Denis Zavitsanos, now a prominent owner for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s stable in New Zealand, also paid tribute to Pizzuto:
“He’s only had the horse for less than a month and he’s already taken him to the next level.”
Geary, who is rapidly approaching 500 winners in just his fifth season of driving, was appreciative of the opportunity extended to him by Pizzuto and the horse’s owners.
“The owners could have put an older, more experienced driver on him but they stuck by me and I have to give them a big thank you for trusting me with such an important drive,” he said.
“Kevin said the horse was going really well and he’d have him ready to win and he’s rarely wrong.”
My Field Marshal was good in second, but below his Miracle Mile-winning best, while Mach Doro flashed home for third ahead of Gotta Go Ya Hu.
Cruz Bromac was developed in Canterbury by Mark Jones, who sold him to clients of Victorian trainer Dean Braun after qualifying.