Zavitsanos chases Inters success
DANNY Zavitsanos “got the bug” a little less than 10 years ago and it has evolved into an insatiable appetite for Group 1 success that could have its greatest payday at Tabcorp Park Melton next Saturday.
The Geelong businessman and trots owner’s stable of talented horses has quickly expanded and it has been a year of success from trotter Enhance Your Calm’s $125,000 victory in New Zealand’s twoyear-old Ruby to Cruz Brom- ac’s $100,000 Len Smith Mile win.
But it’s Cruz Bromac, who Zavitsanos and wife Joanna bought with a syndicate of five in March, that could provide the greatest prize in Australasian harness racing — the TAB Inter Dominion.
“He is a really nice horse, the All Stars have done a really nice job with him,” Zavitsanos said of famed co- trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen.
Rasmussen steered the stable’s Cruz Bromac and Spankem to four bold ID18 performances, including three victories in four heats.
So dominant were the pair they shared series favouritism, an exciting but heavy crown with so much racing left between Cranbourne tonight and the grand final next Saturday.
“I don’t really get involved in who’s favourite, I just hope he runs a good race for us,” Zavitsanos said.
“It feels good. I was over in Perth last year. I had some horses who were only going through their grades there, it was a good experience, but now that we’re back here at the home of the trots it’s fantastic.
“I think the final will be won with the barrier draw; who has the right luck at the right time. I just hope it’s me.”
Rasmussen has been flawless to date, driving with a perfectly-timed aggression to give her horse the best chance of winning without taxing them in a war of attrition.
“I was just rapt with him,” she said after Cruz Bromac’s Ballarat heat win on Tuesday. “It wasn’t a gut buster for him, which I was really pleased with, it was just a nice run.
“He’s a bit of a highly strung old fella, but if you can just keep him calm — I’m staying out with Clinton and Sarah Welsh (in Melton) and it’s really quiet and lovely and the horses have just settled in beautifully. Just rapt.”
It creates a delightful dilemma that Rasmussen will consider after tonight’s final heats — whether she steers Cruz Bromac or Spankem in the final, with Purdon likely to venture across the Tasman to take the reins of the other. “Mark and I will just sit down and work it out,” she said.
Danny Zavitsanos (right) with trainer-driver Natalie Rasmussen after Cruz Bromac’s heat one win. Picture: STUART MCCORMICK