NZB Graduates Shine at New Zealand Harness Awards
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
NZB Standardbred graduates were crowned national champions in their first year of eligibility at the 2019-20 New Zealand Harness Awards at Addington on Monday night.
A standout season saw members of NZB Standardbred’s National Yearling Sale class of 2019 nominated across all two-year-old categories at New Zealand’s annual celebration of harness racing excellence.
Eurokash (NZ) (Love You) was NZB Standardbred’s first New Zealand Harness Awards winner of the evening, taking out the 2YO Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year title.
He was a standout performer during an interrupted two-year-old trotting season, winning two of his three starts.
The $35,000 purchase from Ruby Bloodstock was syndicated and trained by Greg and Nina Hope. He started his career in emphatic style when breaking the New Zealand 2600 metre standing start record for a two-year-old trotting colt or gelding in his first start. Eurokash strode away from his opposition for a massive five and a half length win in 3-27.9.
The star youngster made it two in a row when going on to win his next start over 1980 metres at Addington beating smart field of two-year-olds.
Eurokash’s victories helped him beat out his fellow NZB Standardbred graduates Franco Jorik (NZ) (Muscle Mass), I See Fire (NZ) (Muscle Hill) and Regal Attire (NZ) (Muscle Hill), who were also finalists for New Zealand 2YO Trotting Colt Or Gelding Of The Year award.
There were few surprises when an NZB Standardbred graduate took out the next award at Addington on Monday night.
The finalists for the prestigious award were made up entirely by purchases from NZB Standardbred’s 2019 National Yearling Sale.
Ultimately it was star performer Krug (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) who was crowned New Zealand’s 2YO Pacing Colt Or Gelding Of The Year for 2019-20 following his season of dominance.
Krug was purchased from Smolenski Stables for $155,000 and is trained by Nathan Purdon and Chrissie Dalgety. He stamped his class by dominating the feature racing during an interrupted season with wins in the Group One Cardigan Bay Stakes (1700m) and the Group Three New Zealand Sapling Stakes (1609m) at Ashburton.
Krug’s season tally stood at five wins from seven starts after he produced arguably his most emphatic performance of the season in his final start for the 2019-20 term.
Downed doing a power of early work the classy colt down a field filled with talented and hardy older horses over 1980 metres.
First Class (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) made the short list for the 2YO Pacing Colt Or Gelding Of The Year title following his win in the Group Three Kindergarten Stakes (1609m) and a second placing in the Group Three New Zealand Sapling Stakes (1609m).
Krug’s main season rival, It’s All About Faith (NZ) (Captaintreacherous) was also a finalist for New Zealand 2YO Pacing Colt Or Gelding Of The Year.
The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained pacer won twice and was runner-up twice in just four starts.
Those efforts included a second to Krug in the Group One Cardigan Bay Stakes (1700m).