WIMMERA Mail-Times Horsham Pacing Cup winning trainer Keith Cotchin believes Tanabi Bromac's win on Sunday could be the start of big things for the five-year-old gelding.
Tanabi Bromac led from the outset and scorched home to win by more than six metres, setting a new track record in the $50,000 Group 2, 2700-metre handicap.
His 2.00.2 mile rate slashed 1.6 seconds off the time I Am Sam set by winning the same race last year.
The run stamped Tanabi Bromac as a genuine contender for the $400,000 Group 1 Hunter Cup at Moonee Valley next month. He now escapes the ballot and is guaranteed a run in the race.
Cotchin, based at Elmore, said the win could be the breakthrough Tanabi Bromac needed.
"It is his first real good win as an older horse, not just in the age-related races," Cotchin said.
"I think he is just starting to come along now. He is in a class where it is very, very hard and he is adapting to the style of racing now.
"I think you will be hearing a lot more about him in the future."
Tanabi Bromac won the Victoria Derby in 2008 and entered the Horsham feature in strong form after finishing second at the Tasmania Cup.
Cotchin said he almost stayed in Tasmania to contest the $20,000 Hobart Cup, but the lure of a ballot exemption from the Hunter Cup was too strong.
"When we were in Tassie we were looking at going to the Hobart Cup, but we elected to come home and go to Horsham," he said. "It is not very often that you make the right decision in this game, but this time we certainly did."
Star reinsman Gavin Lang had the drive in Tanabi Bromac and landed his fifth Horsham Cup.
Tanabi Bromac finished ahead of Tear It All Away, Notaswethort and 2009 Wimmera Mail-Times Horsham Pacing Cup winner and backmarker I Am Sam.
Cotchin said he had entered the race confident that Tanabi Bromac would be able to mix it with the class field.
"I thought it would be a nice race for him, but I was a little bit concerned about how good Maffioso was going," he said. "He had a good run on our back, but he obviously had a few problems. I Am Sam had a big ask coming from the backmarker and it was always going to be very hard for him to get around to us."
Maffioso dropped out to finish second last and subsequently failed a post-race vets examination and was stood down for 30 days.
Cotchin said it would be a case of wait-and-see as to what was next in store for Tanabi Bromac in the lead-up to the Hunter Cup on February 6.
"We will wait and see. We might go to the Shepparton Cup before the Hunter Cup," he said. "Now that we are qualified for the Hunter, we don't really have to go in a heap of the other races now."