Lindauer New Zealand
Pacing Free For All
Christchurch, NZ 2000m Mobile Start $NZ100,000
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For once it was Howard’s day
by John Robinson
This article was first
published in New Zealand Harness Racing Weekly, 16th November 2005, and is
reproduced here with permission.
His nose was sticking out the most in a blanket finish to Show Day’s
Lindauer N.Z. Free-For-All, and it was an anxious but memorable way to give
his two Australian co-owners their first win at Addington.
Trained and driven by Kirk Larsen, Howard Bromac is raced by his wife
Michelle in partnership with Lynette Philpott and her nephew David Hardie,
who hail from Cronulla, two avid supporters of the sport in their country.
“I first got into harness racing when I was young, but then had a break for
about thirty years,” said Philpott.
“We’d have interests in about forty horses now,” she said.
Philpott is heavily involved in the day-to-day runnings of the building and
investment company Slingsby Holdings, a role she stepped into following the
death of her father. She regularly sponsors races at Harold Park, and also
Bulli, where during February every year two $50,000 events for 2-year-olds
called the Lindon Huntley Little Memorials are raced in honour of her late
Philpott first got to know the Larsens through Tahonga’s Hanover, who was
sold to her from Kirk’s stable in 1997.
“He won us twelve races, and gave my mum Enid so much pleasure,” she says.
“Kirk and Michelle came over to Australia not long after that, and we’ve
just clicked ever since.”
Philpott continued to purchase horses from New Zealand, with the next one
being Howard Bromac’s older full-brother Harvey Bromac, the first foal of
Holmes Hanover mare Honour Bromac. Harvey Bromac won a dozen races as well,
which seems to be a pertinent number because Howard Bromac was registering
the 12th win of his career last Friday.
Subsequent foals from Honour Bromac, all bred by Nevele R’s Bob McArdle, are
heading in the same direction too. Live Or Die 3-year-old Huntley Bromac has
already been shipped across, and Larsen says the next one – Mystical Shark
2-year-old Hallelujah Bromac – is “quite a nice horse”.
Others that Philpott have bought from the same source include Hardly
Matters, Clint Westwood and Albert Einstein, which have all won their fair
share of races, so it’s no surprise she’s quickly growing a soft spot for
For Larsen, Friday’s victory was also his first taste of Group 1 glory, but
by Sunday he was almost downplaying the achievement with his ‘back to
business as usual’ approach.
“The horse deserved one,” he said.
“He probably lacks a bit of brilliance, but he got the run to suit – doing
no work on a hot pace; he can always give you that good last quarter when
things pan out that way.
“And he really dug deep that last fifty metres.”
Howard Bromac’s connections weren’t issued an invitation to the Miracle
Mile, which is traditionally the case following the Free-For-All every year;
that’s quite remarkable considering his Australian owners throw a great deal
of money into sponsorship at Harold Park, too.
So without it even being an option, Larsen will continue with his original
plan of the Auckland Cup, Hunter Cup and Inter-Dominions as the main targets
for his stable star.
“There’s so many big races coming up for him, and even if he only did the
same as last year (win one race) I’d be happy.
“And he’s still only six, so if he stays sound there’s no reason why we
shouldn’t be looking to line up again in the Cup next year,” he said.