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Nat in Cruz control as loyalties split ahead of TAB ID18 Grand Final

Loyalty could cost Natalie Rasmussen another TAB Inter Dominion pacing title at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night.

Nat in Cruz control as loyalties split ahead of TAB ID18 Grand Final

Loyalty could cost Natalie Rasmussen another TAB Inter Dominion pacing title at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night.

But it could hand her partner Mark Purdon a unique piece of Inter Dominion history.

Spankem
Spankem Picture:Harness Racing Victoria


Rasmussen and Purdon train two of the Inter Dominion favourites in Spankem and Cruz Bromac, who after heading the points table went into yesterday’s barrier draw as the two favourites for the $500,000 pacing final on Saturday.

Cruz Bromac
Cruz Bromac Picture:Racing Victoria

But while Spankem has emerged as the TAB bookies elect after drawing barrier five, Rasmussen has decided to stick with Cruz Bromac, on who she is unbeaten in five starts together.

“To be honest Spankem might be the better of our chances because I can’t believe how well he has come through the series,” says Rasmussen.

“But I feel committed to Cruz. He has also been great through the series and being an older horse this might be his big chance to win an Inter. So I’d be happy driving either but I will stick with Cruz.”

Rasmussen is already the queen of the Inter Dominion, having trained and driven Blacks A Fake to win the series a record four times and she can still win again this Saturday but Cruz Bromac’s second line draw suggests he will need mid-race pressure.

Spankem has the front line draw to keep rolling forward and at least stay handy if he can’t find the lead, which looks very much on the cards.

That provides champion NZ trainer Purdon with a shot at a feat that may never be repeated again: winning three consecutive Inter Dominion pacing finals on three different horses.

Purdon co-trained and drove Smolda (2016) and Lazarus last year to win the pacing finals when they were held in Perth and if he wins on Saturday night he will join Rasmussen with four pacing final wins each, having won his first with Mark Hanover in 1991.

Spankem is now the $2.90 TAB favourite for the final ahead of Im Pats Delight and Cruz Bromac at $4.50 each and the big winner in the draw, Galactic Star (ace) at $6.50.
Harness Racing Victoria




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