By Michael Guerin
Waikato trainer Peter Brown could barely have had a better month and not just because he is now the country’s leading strike rate trainer.
If you don’t know Brown he has been knocking around the northern harness racing scene for years, never over playing his hand, a happy, respected guy.
“The horses are just a hobby for Ros (wife) and I and we have waited a long time to have a couple of good ones,” explains Brown.
What Brown should have said was the harness horses are just a hobby for he and Ros because they actually own the farm on which their daughter Nicole and fiance Nick Fairweather run Carlaw Park, an impressive thoroughbred farm where they agist, prepare and buy and sell horses.
“Nicole and Nick run the business and I help about around the farm,” says Pete.
"So Ros and I have harness horses for fun on the side. It works out well because Ros has her one and I have mine.”
Pete’s horse is Irish Whispers, who made it back to back wins at Cambridge on Friday night.
A son of Art Major he cost $18,000 from the Christchurch sale and the couple bought him because he was a brother to Chosen Major, who also won two for them early in his career before his legs betrayed him.
“This horse has that same ability and while he didn’t win by much tonight David (Butcher) says he is still green and only does what he has to,” says Pete.
“So we are sure he will get better.”
While Irish Whisper has won twice in 15 days, in between the couple’s only other horse Skylou won at Alexandra Park on Rowe Cup night so they have now had three wins in 15 days.
More remarkably those three starts are the only ones the stable have produced this season so they are unbeaten in three starts, an impossible to beat strike rate even if you need a lot more starters before they start giving out awards.
“Skylou is Ros’s horse. She loved him at the Karaka sale and he is a Sweet Lou half to Sky Major and we thought he would be well out of our price range.
“But we got him for $25,000 and now Ros drives him in work and I drive this fella.”
So after five years of barely training and no winners, the Browns have three in 15 days, which is an awfully big deal when you have lined up less than 300 horses in 34 years of training and before this season was on 18 career wins.
“We have waited a long time to get two good horses, to have the sort of time we are now.”
Three starters, three winners in 15 days. Life just couldn’t get better, right?
Well that is not the whole story, not even the important part.
Because while winning races is fun three weeks ago Pete and Ros had something far more special happen when Nicole and Nick had their first child.
“They had a little boy named Charlie and as you can imagine Ros and I are stoked for them and everybody just loves him,” says Brown.
“He will be three weeks old on Sunday and we are so proud of what Nicole and Nick are doing with the business and now being parents.”
So yes, Pete, Ros, Nicole, Nick and now Charlie have had a huge three weeks. Not to mention Irish Whispers and Skylou.