Cambridge trainers David and Emma-Lee Browne are relocating to the revered Browne family’s property on Redoubt Road in Pukekura this week.
It’s only a 17km drive from their current Mystery Creek base, but the new property has a lot more to offer in terms of space, facilites and easy access to the hill gallop made famous by David’s grandparents Ken and Ann Browne.
“We’re leasing the stables and house at the bottom part of the farm from David’s parents,” Emma-Lee Browne said.
“We’re quite excited about it. It’s a really cool property and even though it hasn’t been used as a racing stable for some time, but it has a training track and the hill is right there.
“It’s a lot more space for us so the horses can get out more often and there are more stables than we previously had, so there’s an opportunity to get a little bit bigger as we settle in.
While the section of the farm they are leasing hasn’t been utilised as a racing stable in recent years it has been the base of the Browne family’s polo string, which have now moved up the hill.
“The track has been in use with the polo ponies, so it won’t take much to get it up and running again,” Browne said.
“We will use it to complement our trackwork at Cambridge (Jockey Club) and it will be good having different options for the horses to keep their minds fresh, that’s something we’ve always tried to do.
“Being able to work them at home also means we will be able to spend more time with the horses that need it and not be confined to when the track is open.”
The husband and wife duo are well aware of the benefits of working up the hill having used it as a key element throughout their training careers.
“We’ve always found the hill really good for both the jumpers and the flat horses,” Browne said.
“The jumpers work longer and we keep them going the whole way up but we’ve also used it for speed horses.
“Belle Du Nord went up on the Tuesday before she won the Cal Isuzu Stakes (Gr.2, 1600m) and trotted most of the way.
“It clears their heads, but it also gets them using muscles that are really important in a finish.
“When they’re tired and they’re feeling it right at the end of the race if they’ve had that base hill work, nice and slowly, it just gives them that little edge at the end.”
Browne said another benefit of the move is having David’s grandmother Ann close at hand.
“It’s going to be good to be able to talk with her more often and to have her there to watch them work,” she said.
“She still has a few horses up there but she’s taking more interest in watching them now and she has a few out in training with other people.
“She is brilliant, and I can’t thank her enough for helping us out, especially when we started with the jumpers but even with the flat horses, she just knows so much.”
Browne said they were looking forward to getting the current racing team settled in and bringing more horses into work over the next month.
“We’ve got about 25 in training and pre-training but we’ve quietened down our racing team for the winter, most of them are jumpers,” she said
“In the next couple of weeks, once we’ve moved in, we will crank it up and get all the young ones to get ready for the spring.
“We’ve had to retire Belle Du Nord which was a bit sad but it was probably time for her to go to stud. We’ve got some really nice rising three-year-olds coming along for next season including a Pierro colt out of Rollout The Carpet that we’re really excited about.” - NZ Racing Desk