Day At The Track

Brosnan off to Aussie

09:15 AM 26 Apr 2018 NZST
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Richard Brosnan,Harness racing
Richard Brosnan

A one-time superstar of the harness racing industry is calling time on his career and it set to leave Auckland for Australia within weeks.

But Richard Brosnan says his semi-retirement has nothing to do with a recent cobalt positive that landed him with a hefty fine.

Brosnan was one of the kings of harness racing in the late 1970s and early 1980s, training two champions in Bonnie’s Chance (NZ Cup) and No Response (1979 Interdom Trot Final) as well as a strong of open class stars.

He was never the same force after moving north a decade later but still trained Dominion Handicap winner Pompallier and a host of good intermediate horses.

 Now he says it is time for semi-retirement and a move to Australia to be nearer three of his four children.

 “I’m 70 years old and have had a trainer’s licence since I was 21,” he says.

 “This has been coming for a while. I don’t want to train full time for ever and I have been lucky but you don’t know if that will last forever.

 “Emmett (son) is doing well in harness racing over there so I will take 4 or so of our young horses and train them in Victoria and I am not saying we will never come back.

 “But we have sold our property and looking at this as at least a semi-permanent move.”

 He says the other racehorses he has in his 12-strong team, many of them trotters, will go to other local trainers.

Brosnan has long been admired in the industry for not only his achievements at the absolute highest level on the track but his leading role in administration, even though the latter came with its frustrations.

Because Brosnan’s integrity has never been question there was plenty of confusion over his recent cobalt positive that ultimately saw him fined $19,000.

 While he is adamant there was no wrong doing involved and he has his theories on what caused the positives, he says the incident has nothing to do with his decision to move on.

 “This move has been coming for a while and while I wasn’t happy with the cobalt inquiry or the outcome it is not the reason I am taking a step away.

 “I know some people will think it is but I am 70 now and if we don’t make a move we never will.

 “But there will be some sadness in leaving fulltime training. It has provided me with some wonderful moments.” Brosnan is likely to have horses racing at Alexandra Park for the next two to three weeks before heading to Australia.


Michael Guerin

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