Brooks family’s Northern wish

Jack Romanov leading Amanood Lad over the last fence when winning the Pakuranga Hunt Cup. (Photo: NZ Racing Desk).

Jack Romanov (Richard Cully) leading Amanood Lad over the last fence when winning the Pakuranga Hunt Cup. (Photo: NZ Racing Desk).

Cambridge trainer Mark Brooks and his family are overdue a winning result in Ellerslie’s premier jumping event.

His father, Roger. twice went close to Great Northern Steeplechase success when he prepared The Image Maker to run second in 1991 to Brother Bart (ridden by Craig Thornton and owned and trained by Ann and Ken Browne) and again a year later (behing Brother Bart’s stablemate Lord Tennyson, who was ridden by Brett McDonald).

Mark Brooks has a matching training record with Myths And Legends, who beat all but Anne Browne’s Ima Heroine in 2011 then watched Ima Heroine’s stablemate Tom’s Myth deny him victory 12 months later.

This time around, Brooks is hoping for Jack Romanov to provide the family with their moment of glory in Saturday’s Meadow Fresh Great Northern Steeplechase. “He seems to have come through his last race without any problems so it’s all go,” said Brooks.

Jack Romanov comfortably beat Great Northern rivals Snodroptwinkletoes and last year’s defending champion Amanood Lad in the Pakuranga Hunt Cup and he has confidence in the seven-year-old’s ability to master the extra mile.

“I guess you never really know until they try, but we’ve always thought the further he goes the better for him,” he said. “He was pretty strong to the line the other day and Richard Cully will be riding him again.”

Formerly trained by John Sargent for two wins on the flat, Jack Romanov joined Brooks’ stable for a jumping career and won two steeplechases last winter.

“I’ve always liked him as a jumper and I nearly ran him in the Northern last year, but it was just 12 months too soon,” he said.

While Brooks would prefer better footing on Saturday, he isn’t overly concerned with the likely conditions at Ellerslie.

“It would have been nice if there hadn’t been as much rain and there’s more forecast, but I think he’ll be okay,” he said.

– NZ Racing Desk.