Training honours to Cruz brothers

First Honour (Lynsey Satherley) achieving a fine win for the Cruz family when beating El Fernando at Ellerslie yesterday.

First Honour (Lynsey Satherley) achieving a fine win for the Cruz family when beating El Fernando at Ellerslie yesterday.

Trevor and Martin Cruz made them mum proud when they pulled off a fine training achievement at Ellerslie yesterday.

The Cambridge-based brothers produced First Honour, raced by their mother Angel Cruz, to win fresh-up over ground in the Swiss Deli 2100 in the hands of Lynsey Satherley.

First Honour hadn’t raced since last April and had been readied for yesterday’s assignment with one 1200-metre Cambridge trial, in which he finished fourth of five starters.

Obviously the Cruz brothers had put plenty of ground work into First Honour to be fit for the 2100 metres and it wasn’t as though it was a weak Rating 75 event. In fact there were a host of talented gallopers opposing the Australian-bred five-year-old son of Duke Of Marmalade and punters swayed away from the Cruz runner, despite the horse having won a staying double last season.

First Honour started at odds of 55/1 and won like a favoured runner, much to the delight of her connections.

“I was expecting him to run a place but good on him, he’s done the business,” said Trevor Cruz after the race.

“I thought he could run well given the track was a Dead4. We’ve just been waiting for the tracks to come right so hopefully we will see a bit more of him now.”

Satherley bounced First Honour out well and had him leading the field in the initial stages before letting him relax in fourth placing. There was then a moment of concern when First Honour was held up coming to the home turn, but Satherley worked him into the clear with 300 metres to run and he finished solidly to score by a half-length from the Mark Brooks-trained El Fernando.

Two of First Honour’s three wins have been registered at Ellerslie as he cleared maiden ranks on the track over 2200 metres last December before completing a double with a 2100-metre win at Te Rapa in his next start three months later.

“We would like to move him through the grades, but we will have to see how comes through this one,” he said. “It’s handy that he likes Ellerslie.”