Brendon Hill, trainer and co-owner of exciting young pacer Dalton Bromac, answers twelve questions from Shelley Caldwell Topp.
When Kaiapoi trainer Brendon Hill first saw Dalton Bromac racing from John and David Butcher’s Hamilton stable, he liked his style so much he decided to buy him.
His good friend Noel Bowden joined him in the ownership and the exciting young pacer has given them many thrills since then. Dalton Bromac won his first race for Brendon and Noel in July this year (2014) , at Addington, with only three race starts prior to that for a second, a win and a fifth. He’s now (as of December 24/2014) won nine races including a stunning seven-win streak, and he was a star at the NZ Cup meeting last November.
1) What in particular put Dalton Bromac on your radar?
“I saw Dalton Bromac racing, I liked what I saw. He was trained by the Butchers and owned by David Butcher and Bob McArdle (Bromac Lodge). I thought he looked like a promising sort of a horse. I liked his style.”
2)You own him in partnership with Aucklander Noel Bowden. How did that partnership come about?
“I talked to a few people about owning a share with me in him then Noel Bowden, a great friend of mine who has owned several horses with me, put his hand up. Noel has a plumbing business in Pukekohe. He has always loved harness racing, and has had some nice horses with me over the years, but I must say I can tell by his smile none that quite match Dalton.”
3)Dalton Bromac was a star at the New Zealand Trotting Cup meeting last year easily winning two races and recording 2.29.6 for the mobile 1950m on Cup Day, a 1.55.1 mile rate. Were you surprised by the ease of those wins?
“I was not surprised with his performance on both Cup Day and Show Day.”
4)How does Dalton Bromac compare to some of the other stars you have trained over the years, Monkey King, Bailey’s Dream, Carabella, Power Of Tara, Tennis Ball …?
“He is showing promise but has a long way to go before you can put him in high categories. He is heading in the right direction but he has a way to go.”
5)Monkey King won two New Zealand Cups for you, the first in 2009 when you were only 35. What was that day like?
“Words can’t describe! But I will be a wrinkled up old man in a retirement village and probably still get tearful watching it!”
6)Carabella won 17 races, and had two seconds from only 19 starts, including an incredible 10-win streak during 2010-2011. She won almost $700,000 in stakemoney and was voted Harness Horse of the Year in 2011 as a three-year-old. A pretty special filly. What was she like to train?
“Carabella was an absolute pleasure to train. Even as a youngster she was a real lady, easy to be around.”
7)She is a broodmare now. Has she left any foals yet?
“She has just had a Mach Three colt so fingers crossed he will be half as good as his mama.”
8)Ricky May has driven many winners for you. What makes him such a great driver?
“Ricky May is a true professional and has a natural gift. He is one of the best in the world.”
9)Is there anything you would like to change about harness racing?
“I would like to see an improvement with the handicapping system, and I think owners need to be looked after better.”
10)Why did you decide to become involved in harness racing?
“I have always been involved with horses.”
11)Do you have any family members involved in the industry?
“My Mum’s side of the family are involved with horses. She is a Stormont. I worked for my uncle Michael as a boy.”
12)Can you name one thing about you that might surprise people?
” I can grow hair. I choose not to.”