The elevated Trots Country Cups Championship has crowned a fitting winner with Dean Braun’s cups king, Im Corzin Terror, standing alone after the 25-cup season.
The championship, which for the first time gifted $25,000 to winning connections, sits snug on Im Corzin Terror’s record, with the Western Terror nine-year-old having won the Decron Cranbourne Gold Cup and placed in four of his other six cup starts to amass 11 points, one clear of Hectorjayjay and Milly Perez.
“He deserves to win it,” Braun said. “There are some really nice horses going around in these races, but he was really competitive and maybe a little unlucky not to win another.”
With retirement plans on the table the championship could provide a fitting finale for Im Corzin Terror’s terrific career.
Snapped up by Braun from New Zealand early in the 2012-13 season, then part-owner Pauline McColgan was a little unsure about the four-year-old’s prospects.
“Dean picked him out from New Zealand, I must add after his first start I was a little unsure,” she said. “He looked like he was always about to gallop because he is a bit of a funny pacer.”
But Braun was adamant.
“He was very funny gaited but he gave me a really good feel when I trialled him and since then he has exceeded all expectations.”
His 2013-14 season saw his first dalliance in a Victorian country cup, winning at Maryborough and then adding victories at Bendigo and Terang to finish second in that year’s premiership, just two points shy of prolific competitor Arber.
The 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons saw him finish equal third in the championships, adding wins at Maryborough, Ballarat and Hamilton.
And then this year he advanced to the top step, adding a seventh career country cup from 30 starts, which have seen him amass 47 championship points (four are given for a win, two for second and one for third).
“He’s been one of those horses who are about a rung below the very best and the country cups have been a really good niche for him,” Braun said. “He had won about $30,000 when I took him over and is now over $500,000 and been great for us.”
And he’s been a joy to own, according to Ms McColgan, whose decision to increase her stake from an initial part-owner to outright owner has been well rewarded.
“He always tries,” she said. “When I bought him I wasn’t expecting him to go on and earn what he has, but the cups are great. Some have great prizemoney and they are great racing.”
And this latest premiership win may just be the perfect finishing note for Im Corzin Terror.
While Braun said plans for the nine-year-old weren’t “100 per cent, he has done a good job and has been a good horse” and if the trainer felt it was time to draw the curtain on his racing career he would. Ms McColgan agreed.
“It looks like he might be retired now,” she said. “He will go out for a spell and I can’t see us bringing him back. He will live out a peaceful retirement on the farm. He’s such a lovely little horse.”
Trots Country Cups Championship leaders: Im Corzin Terror 11, Hectorjayjay 10, Milly Perez 10, Major Secret 9, Cruz Bromac 8, Cardon Merger 8, Flaming Flutter 8, My Kiwi Mate 8.