Australasian Grand Circuit
Stories:   Pacers 2005/2006 Season
Leg 4:  Lindauer New Zealand Pacing Free For All   2005/2006 Results   Points
             11/11/2005  Addington, 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 father.

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 Kiwi-bred horses.

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.


All Time Pacing and Trotting Records pre-2001 please refer to the Australian Harness Racing Annual.

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