As he reflected on a weekend that produced an exhilarating win by Thorn Prince (Thorn Park x Shinko Princess) in the Listed Taumarunui Gold Cup, retired businessman and long-time client of Windsor Park Stud, John Bromley, recalled what set in motion his infectious passion for the thoroughbred racing industry.
“It was 2002 and I was living and working in Wellington at the time,” he noted.
“I remember my son Jamie said to me one day I should buy a racehorse. I’d never considered it before so I asked why should I do something like that?
“Because you’re a competitive bugger who likes an adrenaline rush!”
Those words were the catalyst for Bromley to take his first tentative steps into an industry that now sees him with a broodmare band of eleven mares, numerous horses owned outright or in partnership and a boundless enthusiasm for all things thoroughbred.
“I started off with a share in a mare called Madame Shinko who won seven races and straight away I was hooked,” he said.
“The next step was to own one outright so I asked Jim Wallace, who trained Madame Shinko, to have a look for me at the South Island Sale back in 2003.
“We ended up buying three from that sale including a Shinko King filly that I named Shinko Princess.”
Although she was unable to win a race for Bromley, Shinko Princess has played an integral role in his success as a breeder as the dam of Thorn Prince.
“When I retired Shinko Princess I sent her to Scott Eagleton at Seaton Park to commence her breeding career,” he said.
“I remember him asking me what was I thinking as she looked more like a broken down pacer than a thoroughbred. He quickly changed his opinion of her though as she furnished into a magnificent broodmare who has always produced big, robust foals.
“Thorn Prince is a classic example as he is a big, tough individual and you can see that in his racing style and results, he just never knows when to give in.”
Bromley has also extended his ownership involvement offshore in recent years through purchasing shares in a number of well credentialed international gallopers.
“I had a filly named Turfdonna competing in Germany on Saturday who ran third in a Group Three race at Hamburg which was very exciting,” he said.
“I also have a share in Protectionist who won the Melbourne Cup last year along with Terrubi and Singing who are all well up in the early markets for this year’s Cup, while Goldstream is another who is unbeaten in Italy and won the Italian Derby at his last start.”
Those interests have allowed Bromley to expand his racing opportunities however his heart still remains with the New Zealand Industry and the promise of further riches to come.