Crouch towers over Awapuni opposition

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  • June 22, 2023
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A son of Westbury Stud stallion Tarzino named after a former international footballer kicked another winning goal at Awapuni on Saturday.

Trained by part-owner Mike Breslin, Crouch showed he had a bright future over ground with a tenacious performance to account for his Rating 65 rivals in the Wellington Seamarket Handicap (2100m).

The three-year-old’s namesake is Peter Crouch, a striker who played for a number of clubs including Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City and scored 22 goals in 42 appearances for England.

“He was a big, tall and leggy fellow and that’s this horse’s body shape so that’s where the horse got his name from,” Breslin said.

“I’ve had a bit of success naming them after footballers so I went down the same road.

“I thought under saddle in the birdcage on Saturday that it was the first time I’ve seen him starting to look a bit more furnished.”

Crouch finished fourth on debut in April ahead of his maiden victory at Otaki and followed up with a third placing over a middle distance before doubling his winning tally against older rivals on his home turf.

He sat in second spot and was hard ridden before the turn but responded gallantly to the urgings of rider Chris Carmine to reel in the pacemaker Speed Call.

“It was a good effort on Saturday and 200m out it looked like he might run a nice second and he’s ended up winning going away,” Breslin said.

“That could be a turning point for the horse, learning to go through the line and he’s going to keep improving.”

Breslin also gained an insight into the breed following a chat with the trainer of Crouch’s two-time Group One-winning sire.

“He’s a pretty exciting horse and he’s the first Tarzino I’ve had. I can remember talking to Mick Price at the sales and he said they just click one day and start getting better,” he said.

“This horse has been a bit like that and he still doesn’t quite know how to go from cruising to sprinting yet and gets off the bit.”

Crouch may have one more outing before a break and return for a spring campaign.

“I’ll give him a let-up for a short period of time, whether that’s now or one more run I’m not sure, I’ll have a look at him in the next few days,” Breslin said.

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