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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

Harness racing trainer Richard Brosnan has been fined $19200.00 for presenting three horses to race with trace amounts of cobalt in their system. Brosnan who is 69 years old has been a licensed trainer since he was 21years old and has been involved in the Harness Racing Industry for 50 years. The scenario that he had deliberately injected his horses with Cobalt was put to him by the JCA. Mr Brosnan denied this and explained that he had the Cobalt Chloride on the recommendation of a Veterinarian. He stated that a few years ago the neighbours were using chemical sprays on their potatoes which was impacting the welfare and fitness of his horses. His vet recommended Cobalt as a method to pick the horses up although Mr Brosnan stated that the effect was limited. He stated that he forgot that the Cobalt was in the fridge and must have been since that time. He further stated that if he wanted to cheat he would not have left the Cobalt in the fridge where it would be easily located. Full details below: BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003 IN THE MATTER of New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing RACING INTEGRITY UNIT INFORMANT RICHARD BROSNAN, Licenced Trainer DEFENDANT Judicial Committee: Mr Murray McKechnie, Chairman & Mr Gavin Jones Present: Mr Andy Cruickshank, Racing Investigator, Racing Integrity Unit Mr Richard Brosnan, Licenced Trainer PENALTY DECISION NON-RACEDAY JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DATED THIS 13th DAY OF FEBRUARY 2018 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 At a hearing which took place at Alexandra Park Raceway on the 9th day of February this year the Committee considered three (3) informations laid by the RIU against Mr Brosnan under Rules 1004(1A) and 1004(3). 1.2 In an interim decision delivered on the 9th day of February the Committee made orders disqualifying the horses BOPPER JET, GRENADO and OUR PETITE LADY from the races where positive cobalt readings had been returned. That interim decision is to be read alongside this penalty decision. 1.3 As explained in the interim decision the Committee reserved the question of penalty and now turns to that. 2. PENALTY 2.1 Rule 1004(7) provides as follows: Every person who commits a breach of sub-rule (2) or (3) shall be liable to: a) A fine not exceeding $20,000; and/or b) Be disqualified or suspended from holding or obtaining a licence for any specific period not exceeding 5 years. 3. RIU SUBMISSIONS 3.1 The submissions set out the four well-known sentencing principles. These are as follows: a) Penalties are designed to punish the offender for his/her wrong doing. They are not meant to be retributive in the sense that the punishment is disproportionate to the offence but the offender must be met with a punishment; b) In a racing context it is extremely important that a penalty has the effect of deterring others from committing similar offences; c) A penalty should also reflect the disapproval of the JCA for the type of behaviour in question; d) The need to rehabilitate the offender should be taken into account. 3.2 The RIU submissions point to what are said to be “aggravating considerations”. These are said to be as follows: a) Despite being expired by several years 4 vials of Cobalt Chloride were located in a fridge in the stable block; b) In the same fridge 2 syringes containing high levels of Cobalt were located. 3.3 The submissions then point to a number of mitigating factors. These are as follows: a) Mr Brosnan immediately accepted responsibility for the positives and has been fully cooperative with the RIU throughout the investigation; b) Mr Brosnan has admitted guilt and liability at the first available opportunity; c) Mr Brosnan has an unblemished record over 50 years as a Licence Holder and Trainer. 3.4 The RIU took a number of items from the Brosnan stable and had these analysed. Three (3) contained high levels of Cobalt. These were the following: a) Elevate B12 2000 Plus Selenium. The label indicates that this product is used to treat Cobalt and Selenium deficiency in sheep and cattle. Mr Brosnan stated that he gave the horses 10 mls of Elevate B12 2000 orally after hard working them on the Wednesday before they raced (2 days); b) Four ml Cobalt Chloride Vials. These vials contained extremely high levels of Cobalt (18,000 mg/kg). Mr Brosnan stated that he was advised by his Vet to use this product in 2012 as the neighbours were using chemical sprays on their potatoes which were impacting the welfare and fitness of his horses. The original order for Mr Brosnan in 2012 was for 25 x 4 ml vials of Cobalt Chloride. Of these four vials were located and each vial contained the full 4 mls as stated on the label; c) Syringes. Two of the syringes contained high levels of Cobalt indicating that at some stage they had been used to administer products containing high levels of Cobalt. 3.5 The RIU acknowledges that it is not possible to demonstrate that Mr Brosnan administered Cobalt to his horses. The report from Dr Grierson makes clear that it is unlikely that the Cobalt levels which were returned came about from the horses eating food which contained Cobalt. It is the RIU position that having vials of Cobalt Chloride and syringes with traces of Cobalt in the stables puts Mr Brosnan’s level of culpability at the higher end. 3.6 The RIU submissions draw attention to the prohibited Cobalt level under the Harness Racing New Zealand Rules being reduced from the 1st August 2017 from 200 ug/L to 100 ug/L (micrograms per litre). 3.7 The RIU submissions make reference to previous Cobalt decisions in both harness racing and thoroughbred racing. These decisions are: • RIU v DALGETY (16.05.2017) • RIU v BAMBRY (04.12.17) • RIU v O’SULLIVAN & SCOTT (22.03.2016) The Committee has carefully considered each of those decisions. 3.8 In conclusion the RIU seeks a fine within the range of $15,000 to $35,000. 4. MR BROSNAN’S POSITION 4.1 By a document dated the 5th day of February 2018 Mr Brosnan made a detailed response to the RIU submissions. The Committee emphasises the following matters which have been put forward by Mr Brosnan: a) No issue is taken with the summary of facts; b) Mr Brosnan says that at no time did he deliberately administer or inject Cobalt to any of his horses; c) Mr Brosnan acknowledged that there was a failure on his part to recognise that supplements he was giving to the horses could give rise to prohibited levels of Cobalt; d) Mr Brosnan acknowledged that he was at fault and said that this is why he accepted the charges immediately. 4.2 Mr Brosnan pointed to the penalty guide for New Zealand Harness Racing. This provides for an $8,000 fine for a first presentation. Here three (3) horses tested positive. 4.3 In answer to questions from the Committee Mr Brosnan advised that he was 69 years old. He told the Committee that he had been licenced since the age of 21. To quote from Mr Brosnan’s written material: “I have found this an extremely stressful process. It has damaged my reputation at a time when I am about to retire. It is a huge punishment for me”. 4.4 References and testimonials were put forward on behalf of Mr Brosnan. These included a letter from his wife. The reference and testimonials came from a large number of persons holding prominent positions in the training of standard bred horses and in the administration of standard bred racing. These references and testimonials speak of Mr Brosnan’s integrity throughout his career and make for most persuasive reading. 5. DISCUSSION 5.1 In the interim decision there is reference to Dr Grierson’s report. That demonstrates, as noted above, that the high Cobalt levels are unlikely to have come from food given to the horses. The Committee notes in particular the very high level returned by the horse OUR PETITE LADY. 5.2 There has been much publicity and discussion about Cobalt in both the harness racing code and the thoroughbred code in New Zealand and Australia in recent years. This should have put all licenced persons on notice. Trainers should have been alert to the risks that necessarily would arise where Cobalt is stored in stables as was the case here. 5.3 Mr Brosnan told the Committee that he took sole responsibility and did not seek to place any blame upon staff members. 5.4 In his written material Mr Brosnan submitted that the Bambry decision was most relevant and should be followed. The Committee does not agree. In that case only one (1) horse was involved. It is accepted that the O’Sullivan & Scott decision involves very different circumstances from those that are before the Committee. The Dalgety decision has more relevance. That involved five (5) different occasions when horses returned Cobalt levels beyond the permitted 100 ug/L. That was between November 2016 and March 2017. Further Mr Dalgety had two (2) previous convictions for breaches of the Prohibited Substance Rules. Neither involved Cobalt. The Dalgety decision is comprehensive and most helpful. 5.5 In the Committee’s view the offending here, for the reasons set out above, is more serious than in the Bambry case but less serious than in the Dalgety case. Thus it is for the Committee to fix the appropriate level of financial penalty. As already noted the penalty guide proposes a fine of $8,000 for a so-called first presentation. If that were applied in respect of each of the three (3) breaches the fine would be $24,000. The Committee considers that some discount is appropriate to acknowledge Mr Brosnan’s previous completely unblemished record and his prompt acknowledgement of responsibility. An appropriate discount would be 20%. That results in the figure of $24,000 being reduced to $19,200 and that is, in the Committee’s view, an appropriate figure and in line with the decisions spoken of earlier. That figure of $19,200 is proportionate to the circumstances around the three (3) admitted breaches of Rules 1004(1A) and 1004(3). 6. DECISION 6.1 In respect of the three (3) informations to which Mr Brosnan has pleaded guilty he will be fined in total the sum of $19,200. 6.2 The RIU do not seek costs. Mr Brosnan must make some contribution to the costs and expenses incurred by the Judicial Control Authority. An appropriate figure is $500 and that is the sum that shall be ordered to be paid to the JCA. DATED this 13th day of February 2018 Murray McKechnie Chairman ___________________________________________________________________________________________ BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003 IN THE MATTER of New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing RACING INTEGRITY UNIT INFORMANT RICHARD BROSNAN, Licenced Trainer DEFENDANT Judicial Committee: Mr Murray McKechnie, Chairman & Mr Gavin Jones Present: Mr Andy Cruickshank, Racing Investigator, Racing Integrity Unit Mr Richard Brosnan, Licenced Trainer INTERIM DECISION NON-RACEDAY JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DATED THIS 9TH DAY OF FEBRUARY 2018 1. NATURE OF THE CHARGES 1.1 Mr Brosnan faces three (3) charges laid under Rules 1004(1A) and 1004(3) of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing. Those charges relate to horses being presented with the prohibited substance Cobalt. The charges relate to the presentation of the horse BOPPER JET at the Auckland Trotting Club on the 31st day of August 2017, the horse GRENADO on the 31st day of August 2017 at the Auckland Trotting Club and the horse OUR PETITE LADY on the 22nd day of September 2017 at the Auckland Trotting Club. There was a teleconference on the 19th January 2018. At that time Mr Brosnan indicated that he had pleaded guilty to all three charges and those pleas were recorded and those pleas were recorded. Mr Brosnan does not take issue with the summary of facts prepared for the Racing Integrity Unit. A copy of that summary of facts (2 pages) is attached to this decision and is to be read as part of the decision. 2. HEARING ON 9TH DAY OF FEBRUARY 2018 2.1 There has this afternoon been a hearing at Alexandra Park Raceway. The Committee has before it extensive submissions from the RIU. There are also detailed submissions from Mr Brosnan together with extensive testimonials and references. 2.2 On the 5th February 2018 Dr Andrew Grierson the Chief Veterinarian for Harness Racing New Zealand prepared a report for Mr Cruickshank the RIU Investigator and this has been made available to the Committee and to Mr Brosnan. At the commencement of the hearing this afternoon Mr Brosnan made it clear that he was concerned that this material had reached him very late and outside the clear timetable that was set at the telephone conference on the 19th January. Mr Brosnan also made it known that Dr Grierson’s practice acts for his stable and that he was concerned that Dr Grierson should in those circumstances prepare this report for Harness Racing New Zealand. That is a matter upon which the Committee cannot appropriately comment. If Mr Brosnan wishes to take that issue further then he must take that up with Dr Grierson. Mr Brosnan asked if he wished to have time to respond to the material from Dr Grierson. He was told by the Committee that if he did wish to do that then the Committee would grant an adjournment of the hearing in order for that to take place. Mr Brosnan made plain that he did not wish to have an adjournment and “wished to get it over with today”. The Committee has considered the material from Dr Grierson. In particular the Committee is stuck by the very high cobalt level of 522 ug/L returned by the horse OUR PETITE LADY on the 22nd September 2017. Mr Brosnan was asked about that. He said that the only explanation that he could offer was that medication given to that mare which medication had been obtained from the Auckland Veterinary Clinic may have brought that about. That medication is to prevent mares from coming into season. That medication was given to OUR PETITE LADY but not to the other two horses BOPPER JET and GRENADO. 3. SUBMISSIONS 3.1 The Committee has heard from both Mr Cruickshank and Mr Brosnan and they have responded to questions from the Committee. It was explained that it will be necessary to give a detailed reasoned decision as to the penalty level which the Committee will impose. That written decision should be available without significant delay. 4. DECISION 4.1 In the meantime this decision now sets out that the horse BOPPER JET is disqualified from Race 2 that took place at Alexandra Park Raceway on the 31st August 2017 and the horses which finished behind BOPPER JET are moved forward. That may affect the ratings of those horses in consequence. The horse GRENADO is disqualified in respect of Race 5 that took place at Alexandra Park Raceway on the 31st August 2017 and likewise the horses that finished behind GRENADO are moved forward one place in consequence of that disqualification. OUR PETITE LADY raced on the 22nd September 2017 at Alexandra Park Raceway and won Race 3. She is disqualified and again the horses that were placed behind her move forward in the places. There will be an order for the return of all stake money in respect of the horses BOPPER JET, GRENADO and OUR PETITE LADY. The rule under which disqualification has been made is R1004(8). The Committee is informed that the stake money has not been paid out and it follows from what is said above that this stake money will be distributed in accordance with the disqualifications which have taken place. When the Committee recorded that the stake money was to be refunded it was not at that time aware that the monies had not in fact been paid. 4. RESULT OF DECISION. 4.1 The decision given today is to be immediately notified by the RIU to Harness Racing New Zealand. A typed up decision will be available within a few days. A more detailed decision fixing the penalty levels and the reasons will follow thereafter. DATED at Auckland this 9th day of February 2018 Murray McKechnie Chairman ___________________________________________________________________________________________ BEFORE THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE AT AUCKLAND IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing BETWEEN RACING INTEGRITY UNIT Andy Cruickshank Investigator Informant AND Richard BROSNAN Licensed Trainer HRNZ Respondent SUMMARY OF FACTS The respondent Richard BROSNAN is a licensed Public Trainer and Open Horseman under the Rules of the Harness Racing New Zealand. On the 31st August 2017 “Bopper Jet” was correctly entered and presented to race by Mr BROSNAN in Race 2 the Hes Watching Tender Closes Tonight 8pm Mobile Pace at the Auckland Trotting Club meeting at Alexandra Park, Auckland. “Bopper Jet” is a 6 year-old bay gelding (Jereme’s Jet – Big Bopper) owned by Mrs J L Brosnan, R J Brosnan and A J Lavrencic and is trained by the Respondent Mr BROSNAN. “Bopper Jet” finished second of the twelve horse field and won a stake of $2465.00. “Bopper Jet” underwent a random Post Race urine swab. Mr BROSNAN does not contest the swabbing process. On the 31st August 2017 “Grenado” was correctly entered and presented to race by Mr BROSNAN in Race 5 the McGregor Bailey Chartered Accountants Hcp Trot at the Auckland Trotting Club meeting at Alexandra Park, Auckland. “Grenado” is a 6 year-old bay gelding (Pegasus Spur - Strapless) owned by Mrs P A Dunnell, Miss S D Brosnan, L M Gurney and Mrs J L Brosnan, and is trained by the Respondent Mr BROSNAN. “Grenado” finished first of the eleven horse field and won a stake of $6420.00. “Grenado” underwent a random Post Race urine swab. Mr BROSNAN does not contest the swabbing process. All swab samples from the meeting were couriered to the New Zealand Racing Laboratory and were analysed for the presence of substances prohibited under the Rules of New Zealand Harness Racing. On 28 September 2017 the Official Racing Analyst reported in writing that the samples from “Bopper Jet” and “Grenado” had tested positive to Cobalt. “Bopper Jet” returned a Cobalt level of 136 ug/L (micrograms per litre) and “Grenado” a Cobalt level of 128 ug/L (micrograms per litre). On the 22nd September 2017 “Our Petite Lady” was correctly entered and presented to race by Mr BROSNAN in Race 3 the Pegusus Spur Tender Closes 13 October Hcp Trot at the Auckland Trotting Club meeting at Alexandra Park, Auckland. “Our Petite Lady” is a 4 year-old bay mare (Pegasus Spur – Petite Sunshine) currently leased by C H Weaver and Miss I M Elsley and is trained by the Respondent Mr BROSNAN. “Our Petite Lady” finished first of the eleven horse field and won a stake of $7920.00. “Our Petite Lady” underwent a random Post Race urine swab. Mr BROSNAN does not contest the swabbing process. All swab samples from the meeting were couriered to the New Zealand Racing Laboratory and were analysed for the presence of substances prohibited under the Rules of New Zealand Harness Racing. On the 31st October 2017 the Official Racing Analyst reported in writing that the sample from “Our Petite Lady” had tested positive to Cobalt. “Our Petite Lady” returned a Cobalt level of 522 ug/L (micrograms per litre). Cobalt at a concentration above 100 micrograms per litre in urine is a Prohibited Substance within the meaning of the Rules and its presence in a race day sample is, prima facie, a breach of the Rules. Cobalt is an essential trace element required for life through the actions of Vitamin B12 of which Cobalt makes up about 5% of its weight. Cobalt is absorbed from the gut either as elemental or incorporated in Vitamin B12. Mr BROSNAN was spoken to at his home address on Thursday 5 October 2017. He was unable to explain the positive tests and was adamant that he had not administered Cobalt to any of his horses. Four 4ml vials of Cobalt Chloride were located in a fridge in the stabling area of Mr Brosnan’s property along with four syringes (1 x 1ml, 1 x 2ml, 2 x 10ml) which were taken for analysis testing. The vials of Cobalt Chloride were compounded by Optimus Healthcare Limited on 6 September 2012 and had a “Use by” date of 5 March 2013. When tested the vials were shown to have a level of Cobalt of 18000 mg/kg. The four vials were the remaining part of an order of 25 x 4ml vials. When the syringes were tested the 10 ml syringes had a Cobalt reading below .02 mg/kg (milligrams per kilogram). The 1ml syringe showed a Cobalt level of 330 mg/kg (milligrams per kilogram) and a 2ml syringe showed a Cobalt level of 69 mg/kg. Mr Brosnan was spoken to again on Tuesday the 5th November 2017 and the scenario that he had deliberately injected his horses with Cobalt was put to him. Mr Brosnan denied this and explained that he had the Cobalt Chloride on the recommendation of a Veterinarian. He stated that a few years ago the neighbours were using chemical sprays on their potatoes which was impacting the welfare and fitness of his horses. His vet recommended Cobalt as a method to pick the horses up although Mr Brosnan stated that the effect was limited. He stated that he forgot that the Cobalt was in the fridge and must have been since that time. He further stated that if he wanted to cheat he would not have left the Cobalt in the fridge where it would be easily located. Mr BROSNAN has been involved in the Harness Racing Industry for 50 years. He holds a Public Trainer and Open Horseman Licence and trains a number of race horses. Mr Brosnan has no previous breaches of a similar nature.

Richard Brosnan’s love of horses and his relentless appetite for hard work paid dividends at Alexandra Park on Friday night. The 69-year-old Hall-of-Famer had six starters to the races for two firsts and a second. He drove Gintaras to win the seventh event and then two races later Todd Mitchell steered Red Castleton to victory. Stablemates Grenado (Dylan Ferguson) ran second, Stow (Brosnan) fifth, and Ginger Bertha (Jay Abernethy) sixth in that ninth race. The Brosnan trained quinella was $21. In a career spanning five decades Brosnan has now racked up his 811th ($5.7m) and 625th ($4.4m) driving and training successes. “It’s always rewarding to win any race, but two on a night is very satisfying. I still enjoy training after all these years. If I didn’t enjoy being with the horses I wouldn’t be doing it. “I get a lot of satisfaction fixing horses problems and then watching them perform well on the race-course. I love the challenge of trying to work them out. It takes time but then again I don’t play golf like a lot of the others. “I pride myself on that fact that 90 per cent of my horses always step. It takes a lot of one-on-one attention but the time and patience eventually pays off. On nights like this it makes it all worth while,” the Ardmore trainer/driver said. It’s been more than 15 years since Brosnan last trained two trotters to win at a single meeting. The last time was at Alexandra Park on April 5, 2002 when Champagnat and Pompallier were victorious. He also nailed the training and driving hatrick that night with pacer Heez Ruthless. Brosnan has trained a pacer and a trotter to win on a single night on several occasions. The last time he achieved that was at Alexandra Park on May 31, 2013 when Peter Ferguson drove pacer Leica Rose to win a Maiden Pace and then two races later he steered Kip Keino to win a C1/2 Trot. Brosnan also repeated the dose at the same venue on June 26, 2009, when he trained and drove pacer Baltic warrior and trotter, Sunny's Bar to win. Brosnan half expected Gintaras to go close on Friday but was somewhat surprised by Red Castleton’s first win in two career starts. “Gintaras has been going some nice races lately even though he did break in sympathy when another horse galloped and I thought he was knocking on the door. “Red Castleton goes pretty good but I’m not sure he will go that far because he has a few issues. He tries hard and that’s all I can ask of my team. Win or lose my aim is to bring the best out of them,” Brosnan said. Brosnan has learnt more than a few things about the intricacies of harness racing over the years both as horseman and administrator. His career highlights came when he trained and drove Bonnie's Chance to Armalight by seven lengths in the 1982 New Zealand Cup; and his 'drive-of-the-70s' when he weaved No Response through the field to nail the 1979 Interdominion Trotters Final at Addington. "I've been lucky. There have been a lot more horsemen than me who never got lucky and never got the four horses have been lucky enough to stumble on. "A lot of trainers never get a No Response, Bonnie’s Chance, 2005 Dominion Handicap Pompallier, and Baltic Eagle, whom we sold. I know what it's like to lose and that makes me realise just how lucky i have been over the years," Brosnan said. "My two winners on Friday are no stars but they have overcome issues and won. I have worked them out and their own little idiosyncrasies they bring - and to me that is very satisfying and rewarding," said Brosnan who is the Auckland Trotting Owners Chairman. Brosnan works a team of 18 at his South Auckland stable. His wife Lithuanian-born wife Julija was delighted that his hard work resulted in a happy Friday night for the family. Their son Son Emmett drove the Geoff Webster trained Rift Valley into third in the Group One $80,000 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series at Melton's Tabcorp Park. “I’m just so happy for them both. It is so great Richard get some reward for all his hard work. He's been at the workouts this morning and has only had three-and-a-half hours sleep. “I think he's like one of those everlasting batteries they advertise on TV” she joked.. Brosnan only needs $293 to equal year’s driving stake earnings of $63,227. His five winners in the sulky are his best since 2008-2009 when he won 10 races and $117,360. Brosnan’s $117,035 in training earnings (seven wins) this season are the best since 2008/2009 when Brosnan won 10 races and $119,530. For the record Gintaras is a Lithuanian male (masculine) name. Duane Ranger

Phil Iggo knows what it’s like to place in Group One trotting events. He’s even won three Group Threes but in December 2016 the North Canterbury horseman wants to go one better in the North Island. “Ultimately I’m up here (Auckland) to win the (Group One) National Trot with Bordeaux. This is my second trip north with horses and last time we were here The Fat Controller finished third, sixth and fourth,” Iggo said. The three races Iggo was referring to were the Group Two $40,000 Lyell Creek Stakes at Alexandra Park this Friday; the Group Two Flying Mile at Cambridge Raceway on Christmas Eve; and the Group One $80,000 National Trot on New Year’s Eve. “Bordeaux will start in those three races while we are in the North Island. I don’t think Marcoola is not that much inferior to Monbet, but those two trotters aside the ranks are pretty even. “But in saying that my fella did beat the remainder at Kaikoura and finished fourth in the Dominion. I couldn’t be happier with him,” Iggo said. Iggo left Flaxton last Wednesday (December 7) and arrived with Bordeaux and the un-raced 3-year-old Muscle Mass gelding - Musculus at Richard Brosnan’s Ardmore stable a couple of days later. “I fast-worked them both on the Sunday before we left and then gave them a jog the morning we arrived. Then I took them both to the Alexandra Park Workouts. “That was very beneficial,” Iggo said. Both Bordeaux and Musculus were nice winners at the trials and workouts which attracted a whopping 80 entries. Bordeaux and Iggo beat Le Reveur and Idle Bones by a neck and three lengths trotting the R89 and faster event in 2:47.1. His winning mile rate for the 2200m mobile was 2:02.2. Musculus and Iggo beat nine others in their maiden 2200m trot by a length in 2:56.2 (mile rate 2:08.8) with final 800m and 400m sprints of 60.6 and 30.1. “The 3-year-old is out of our six-win Sundon mare we bred named Sheez Speedy. I qualified him two seconds under time at Rangiora about six weeks ago. “He’s progressed nicely since. Saturday’s win was his first in five runs at the workouts and trials. I like him a lot and hopefully he should go boldly on debut in the next couple of weeks,” Iggo said. Musculus won’t line up on Friday but Bordeaux will start from barrier two on the second line (10) in Friday's Group Two Rosslands Lyell Creek Stakes Free-For-All. “The last time we were up here we were chasing around good ones like Sovereignty and One Over Kenny. Marcoola aside I think it’s going to be a bit easier this time around. “It was a long journey up but both horses have come through it well and settled in nicely at Richard and Julija’s wonderful property. The workout win has rounded Bordeaux off nicely for Friday,” Iggo said. Dexter Dunn will drive the chestnut. He was bred by Iggo and his wife Martine, and is by Love You and is out of their six-win Britewell mare, Sapient. Bordeaux has won eight of his 17 starts and placed in two others for $76,406. He placed in this year's Group Three D G Jones Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup two starts back and then ran fourth in the Group One Dominion on November 11. Iggo trains his team in a straight line back home but isn’t too perturbed about his duo coping with the Alexandra Park-way-around. “We are venturing into the unknown a bit, but I have added a near-side pole to teach them to keep their heads straight. Both are working well and I was pleased with the way they came through their first look at Alexandra Park. "I've won three Group threes and placed in a couple of Group Ones over the years. The aim is to improve on that record while I'm up here," Iggo said. Duane Ranger

Notice of meeting.   There is a harness racing owners meeting this Sunday 20th November at Alexandra Park commencing at 2:00pm   Harnesslink Media    

Sea Eyre is making a habit of beating home another trotter by his own sire when he wins. The harness racing gelding by The Pres has scored two victories to date, and on both occasions he's gotten to the post ahead of a year-older trotter who shares the same father.   The first time was at Addington on February 19 this year when Sea Eyre defeated I'm Not Eyre, then last Friday night at Alexandra Park he did it again - prevailing in a tight finish over Precious Moment to set up a $127 quinella!   It's fair to say that the pickings have been slim in between wins, but like a lot of trotters who are learning their craft, Sea Eyre had a few wee issues that needed ironing out and the decision to send him north has started to pay dividends.   Raced on lease by Palmerston-based horseman Ricky Allen, Sea Eyre joined the stable of Richard Brosnan a couple of months after clearing maidens and his new trainer speaks highly of the now 4-year-old gelding out of Viola Chiola.   "Ricky thought that a change of scenery might help," Brosnan said, explaining the temporary arrangement.   "And the horse's issues aren't anything major, just a lot of little things; it always takes time to get to know them and work out what suits."   The chinks in Sea Eyre's armour included a couple of steering issues and his tendency to "fire up" on raceday, but Brosnan's confident that he's slowly turning things around.   "He's actually really good-natured and is beautiful around home, plus on racenight he'll be as quiet as anything too - until you get him out onto the track, when he turns into a right handful.   "He'll be hard on the bit, and the trick is trying to get him to save that until later in the race; even when he's been wild at times though, some of his runs weren't that bad.   "We've changed a bit of gear and are hopefully getting him sorted now, because he did seem more relaxed on Friday."   It's too early to tell whether Sea Eyre will climb as high as the Open Class ranks, but the man who's currently putting the polish on this son of The Pres believes he can win more.   "He might not be a star but he's a nice, handy trotter - and I do think he's still twelve months away yet," Brosnan said.   "There's only a few around by The Pres up here, but they've done quite a good job.   "We've bred two ourselves, out of Baltic Sun. The first one was born with a badly offset hoof and never raced, which was a pity really because it was such a lovely natured horse.   "But I've broken in a 2-year-old full-sister and she's nice too; I've got no problems with them."       For more on The Pres click on this link.   Harnesslink Media

Harness racing can be tough business at times as luck plays a part of any horses career. One horse who has never had a lot of luck during his 22 starts to date is the Live Or Die gelding, Elliot Daniel. Bred by well known Auckland breeder and owner Bernie Lim and raced by him from the stable of Richard Brosnan, Elliot Daniel has always looked the kind of racehorse that had two or three wins in him but just never got the rub of the green when he needed it on raceday. Rising seven and with just three placings from 22 starts, Elliot Daniel was put on the market recently as the patience of his camp had run out. Enter Steven Reid who was looking for a horse at the time and like a lot of people thought that Elliot Daniel had a couple of wins in him. With a horse now seven, Steven Reid thought the change of enviroment may work the trick with Elliot Daniel and judging by last Saturday's win at the Auckland workouts he may be right. Elliot Daniel ran out a narrow but impressive winner of his six horse heat with the last 800 meters in 58.4 and 400 meters in 27.6. By Live or Die, Elliot Daniel is from the handy Sands A Flyin mare Sequita who won twice and was placed nine times in a brief twenty start career on the track. Sequita is a half sister to Kaiapoi Lil 1:52.6 and is closely related to the former star juvenile in Australia My Handsome Fella 1:59 ($79,573) Tomorrow night at Alexandra Park, Elliot Daniel starts from barrier six in the 4 year old and older 2200 meters mobile with Simon Lawson in the bike and looks a realistic winning chance. All Elliot Daniel really needs is the rub of the green to finally make it to the winners circle. Harnesslink Media

The North Island has won the fifth annual ‘Island Of Origin’ series at Alexandra Park. The Peter Ferguson captained team of six beat the South Island by 25 points to 11 tonight (Friday August 29th). Points were awarded on a 3-2-1 basis for first, second, and third. Ferguson was rapt with the victory. “We didn’t come here to run second. It’s a great concept and I’m rapt to have won it. We all did our bit. 3-2 sounds very nice,” Fergie said. South Island captain Ricky May, who replaced the suspended Anthony Butt as skipper, enjoyed the night. “It’s a great concept especially with owners getting penalty free wins. We were going pretty good early on and then we faded a bit," May said. The North Island paid $1.80 for their third victory. “I really enjoyed it and am always proud to represent the South Island,” he added. Zac Butcher won the Individual title and paid $4.60 on the New Zealand TAB. He amassed eight points thanks to two wins and a second. Blair Orange (six points) finished second with two wins, while Tony Herlihy (MNZM) was third with five points from two seconds and a third. ‘The Postman’ aka Orange delivered in the first heat with a win behind the Andrew and Lyn Neal trained Lucky Fortune. Butcher then won the second heat behind the Stephen Doody trained Te Kawau, while Ferguson led the way with a third heat victory behind the Richard Brosnan trained Torbjorn. The fourth heat went to Orange and the Roni Lauren trained I Got Rhythm before Butcher won the fifth heat behind the Stewart Ashworth trained Machinegun Kelly. The last heat was won by Todd Mitchell and the Peter Scaife trained Rip Roaring. The teams were: North Island: Peter Ferguson (c), Tony Herlihy (MNZM), Todd Mitchell, Philip Butcher, Zac Butcher, and Scott Phelan. South Island: Ricky May (c), Gerard O’Reilly, Dexter Dunn, Blair Orange, Jim Curtin, and Mark Jones. The Island Of Origin winners: 2014: North Island. 2013: North Island. 2012: South Island. 2011: South Island. 2010: North Island. Courtesy Of Harness Racing New Zealand

Well known and respected trainer/driver Richard Brosnan caused a real stir recently when he went public with his concerns about the problems facing the harness racing industry and that he was seriously thinking of giving the game away. Tonight at Alexandra Park he let his horses do the talking and showed that he had lost none of those training skills honed by over forty years in the industry.  The six year old Dream Vacation gelding Torbjorn was off 20 meters in the C1/C3 2700 meters stand trot and came into the race with a last start third to his credit. With regular pilot Peter Ferguson in the bike, Torbjorn made his usual safe beginning and settled three back in the running line in the ten horse field and that's where he stayed until 400 meters from home where Peter Ferguson sent him forward three wide in search of the leaders. All the way up the straight Torbjorn kept making ground and grabbed the leader Sastre in the shadows of the post for a narrow but deserved victory. He trotted the 2700 meters from a stand in 3:30.7, with closing sectionals of 60.4 and 29.6. It was Torbjorn's fourth win in 30 starts along with 10 placings and took his stake earnings to $44,527 Torbjorn was bred and is raced by Bernie Lim who has been a long time stable client of Richard Brosnan's. Torbjorn is from Sun Lamp, a Sundon daughter of the Bonefish mare Kiwi Kipper who was imported to New Zealand by the late Sir Roy McKenzie. Sun Lamp is closely related to the outstanding age group trotter Royal Aspirations 1:56.5 ($282,999) and the top trotting mare Aspiring Lass (12 wins) ($107,065). Tonights win by Torbjorn proved once again that when it comes to training winners, Richard Brosnan has always been one of the best in the business and can still find his way to the winners circle. Harnesslink Media    

He's been to the top of the tree and down again and, with little hope that harness racing can recover, respected trainer Richard Brosnan tells Fairfax Media why he's getting out.  He's trained some of harness racing's pin-up stars, but as the industry honours its heroes this weekend, Richard Brosnan is instead winding down his operation, resigned to putting his Ardmore property on the market. "The game's buggered," Brosnan says bluntly. "I tried to warn them 10 years ago that their systems were wrong and now it's getting too late. The pool of horses is shrinking that fast, they don't realise it." Brosnan is no sit-back-and-moan stirrer. He's been on numerous horsemen's committees and advocated a major overhaul of the handicapping system so many times at annual meetings he now feels like people think he's "crazy". Brosnan was there in Christchurch again last Friday, asking the hard questions on what Harness Racing New Zealand proposes doing about the new import levies which are crippling sales of our battlers to Australia. "Most people don't want a bar of owning horses now - and in the long run, I'll be proved right." Brosnan reckons that in his nearly 40 years in harness racing, when he' s trained 559 winners and driven 719, he's learned a thing or two. He's seen the game from both sides - from the top end when he enjoyed the ride with stars like Bonnie's Chance, who beat Armalight by seven lengths in winning the 1982 NZ Cup, and champion trotter No Response whose weaving home straight burst to win the 1979 Interdominion Final at Addington will never be forgotten. And he's seen it from from the bottom end, where he sits now, no longer able to afford any staff and struggling to keep his owners with his team down to under 10, and no end in sight to the drain. "Thankfully I've still got my main owners but they're getting older and cutting back too and in another 12 months a couple of them won't be here. "The 0utlook is not good and I'll just be winding down quietly. I'll put my place on the market and see what happens, maybe relocate somewhere else if things pick up. I wish it would, but it's hard to see that happening." Brosnan said training had never been as big a struggle as it is at the moment - only last month Pukekohe trainer Tony Grayling walked away from the game - and he says he can see a lot more going the same way. "Things have quickly gone from bad to worse for me since the start of the year," says Brosnan. "I've lost six payers since Christmas and haven't been able to replace them." "There'll be no bugger here in five years. We're worse off today than we were five years ago. I've hung in there doing the best I could, hoping things would turn, but now I don't have an option, I have to face facts. I'll do what I can myself, that's the only way to survive, but for how long I can do that is debatable. I'm 66."Brosnan praised the Auckland Trotting Club for lifting stakes but said he got little encouragement from the projected goal of the suddenly exited Racing Board CEO Chris Bayliss that purses be raised by 50 per cent in five years' time. Brosnan said if harness racing wanted to keep its owners, it had to offer them hope of at least some return. "In all the time I've been in training the majority of horses have been good enough to win only one race. Some win two, but that's their lot, and that's never changed. "What we should be doing is utilising those horses more. Everyone calls them poor horses but they can still make up competitive fields which are good betting mediums. "People who think good horses draw the most betting are wrong. If one good horse stands out it kills betting. The key is putting like with like." Brosnan says owners quickly get the pip if their horse wins a race only to be told: ‘You better sell it because that's as far as it will go'. "The horse goes to Australia, wins three, four, five races straight away and the owner thinks ‘what the hell are they doing here?' They say I'm not having a horse again and they tell their mates . . ." But Brosnan says the pool of horses has dropped so much here it was getting harder to split up the lesser ones from the others as happens in Australia were his son Emmett is driving successfully. Now, even more alarmingly, it was becoming almost impossible for owners to sell their battlers to Australia. Since Australian authorities introduced a $2000 import levy on colts and geldings, the person who would previously have bought a cheapie because it was a ready-made commodity was opting out. Horses were instead being given away and owners, without any return, were not moving on to the next horse as they had in the past. But with the correct handicapping system, Brosnan says there would be no need for owners to quit their horses. Brosnan has long advocated a floating points system, where horses are continually reassessed depending on their performances - similar to the weight rating system successfully used in Hong Kong. If they raced well, they went up in the points, if they raced poorly they dropped back, allowing them into fields of similar performers. It made no sense for a horse who had won a race to become a C1 and be pigeon-holed in that grade no matter how it performed. "At the moment the worst thing that can happen to some horses is to win a race - they're buggered when they do. "It doesn't take long for owners to say ‘to hell with this' if you keep taking horses to the races and you know before you start that your chances are slim." And if HRNZ thought its new drop back system would solve the problem, it was sadly mistaken, says Brosnan. Horses had to run out of the money 10 times before they were reassessed. That took three months or longer, a period owners simply could not afford given the costs of training. "A friend of mine in Australia who investigated it reckoned it should be six starts, not 10." Brosnan says he's never been a fan of free wins - the concession system HRNZ offered two-year-olds and three-year-olds so owners could maximise their winnings without rising in the grades too quickly. "It's always to the detriment of somebody else - and at some stage it bottlenecks and impacts on others. "I always found the good horses look after themselves and I've had a couple of very good ones. "I always thought the other horses should still have the opportunity to win money. If I was handicapped out of it, too bad. You can't be winning everything at the expense of everyone else." It has been nearly 10 years since Brosnan trained his last good horse - Pompallier, who numbered the 2005 Dominion Handicap among his 20 wins - during which time he says he's had to make do with the satisfaction of squeezing the most out of his lesser horses. Others he'd had to sell, initially needing the money after his shift north from Kerrytown. Horses like 2003 Interdominion winner Baltic Eagle whom he sold after only two starts, and DB Bopper who excelled in Australia and later the United States. More recently 32-race winner Gaius Caesar went the same way. "Anything that's looked like being a bit decent has been sold and that's meant you don't get noticed the same as a trainer, "You do get down about it - and after a while when things aren't going your way you even start doubting yourself, and whether to change the way you're training. "But you get a certain amount of satisfaction in developing horses even if they're limited in ability and, in the end, you've just got to play the cards you're dealt." Courtesy of Barry Licther and Sunday Star Times

Master Canterbury horseman Colin De Filippi has driven in heaps of Group One races to get too excited about training and driving his first Dominion Trot winner - but the 61-year-old does know he’s got a huge show of doing just that at Addington Raceway next month. “I’m never one to get carried away about winning Group Ones because there’s so many good horses in the race and so much can happen both between now and race-day and then in the actual race. “In saying that I couldn’t be happier with where Stent is at,” De Filippi said. The 5-year-old son of Dream Vacation was ultra-impressive at Addington Raceway on Friday night (October 18) when winning his first start since finishing third behind Cyclone U Bolt and Escapee in the Harness Jewels final at Ashburton on June 1. Stent was simply too strong in the $10,000 Rosalie Bay’s Breeders Crown for 6-plus win trotters. Owner Trevor Casey nailed the quinella when favorite Escapee ran second. “It’s the first time he’s put on weight while he’s been out. He’s come back bigger and stronger this time in, and he’s trotting really well,” De Filippi said of last season’s Group One $100,000 Anzac Trot winner. Stent settled in the second half of the field and then De Filippi sent him three-wide in the home straight to be left parked at the bell. They then got cover thanks to Raydon down the back straight. The duo then pounced at the 400m and hunted down the favorite Escapee, and then breezed past her to win untouched by three quarters of a length. Stent, who started from the 10m back mark, trotted the 2600m stand in 3:17.8 (mile rate: 2:02.4) with final 800m and 400m sprints of 59.1 and 28.7 seconds. He was the second favorite and paid $3.70 to win. De Filippi said Stent was always traveling well. “The spell has done him the world of good. He’s always been the type of horse who needed time. From day one he told me he was talented. “I don’t think I helped matters by racing him as a 2-year-old. But now that he’s five he’s really starting to hit his straps,” De Filippi said. De Filippi said the Dominion Trot was one race he always wanted to win. “I drove Pompallier to win it for Richard Brosnan back in 2005 and I did run third in the race with Dad’s horse Cee Ar (1975). “I’ve won the other big trot, the Rowe Cup, with So Long Eden (1995), so it would be nice to train and drive this fella to Dominion win. “But like I said you can never get too far ahead of yourself in this game,” the master horseman said. De Filippi said Stent would have one trial and then race at Kaikoura before the $200,000 Dominion Trot on November 15 (Show Day). Stent was bred by Casey and M.J. and Mrs J.M. Bowden. He is the first of three foals (and only winner) out of the 11-win ($116,114) winning Sundon mare Belle Galleon. The talented bay has now won 11 of his 30 starts and placed in 12 others for $213,642 in purses. Video attached Courtesy of  Duane Ranger and Harness Racing New Zealand

Brothers John and Dexter Dunn for the first time ever both reined home Group One winner in the same night at Friday’s (May 3) feature Alexandra Park meeting.

Levels harness racing trainer Murray Tapper is loving every magical moment being provided by his talented trotter Stylish Monarch. The son of Monarchy was simply superb when winning the Group two Trotters Flying Mile at Cambridge on Friday night.

Col Kennedy passed away on November 4 but his harness racing legacy lived on at Alexandra Park today (Tuesday November 23) when the 4-year-old gelding he and his wife Karen bred and owned, won a $4,000 one-win pace at the Kumeu Trotting Club's meeting.

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