Horse Racing: Australian raider Swayzee captures rare NZ Trotting Cup victory at Addington

The NZ Trotting Cup has seen a major boilover and history made for the Aussies, who've completed a successful raid to claim a rare win in Kiwi harness racing's showpiece event.

Trans-Tasman visitors have struggled to make an impact on the race in recent years, but at Addington, five-year-old gelding Swayzee found the lead early and held off the challenge of the hot favourite Akuta to secure victory. 

Swayzee is just the second Australian horse to win the NZ Cup since 1987 and the first since 2015. 

Swayzee heads Akuta home in the NZ Trotting Cup.
Swayzee heads Akuta home in the NZ Trotting Cup. Photo credit: Photosport

The result was certainly a shock to punters. There was considerable hype around Swayzee, but his difficult draw in the back row presented a major challenge.

To put the result into perspective, Australians winning the NZ Cup is about as rare as the Wallabies winning the Bledisloe Cup. 

As soon as Swayzee hit the front, trainer Jason Grimson had a funny feeling he would get the job done.

"He's so hard to run down in front," said Grimson. "It worried me a bit when Akuta got on his back, but when he pulled out, he was just too good.

"It is hard to come and do, but this just goes to show our horses ar as good as any in the world."

This is likely not the last time Swayzee comes over for the NZ Cup.

Although trainer Mark Purdon and Akuta were pipped in the big race, it wasn't a bad day overall for the Purdon stable, taking out the other two Group 1 races, including Millwood Nike, which made it 16 wins to start its career. It's owned by former NZ Warriors and Kiwis coach Frank Endacott.

He'll certainly be a happy man and the champion filly will probably end up on in the NZ Cup in years to come.