Hunter Bromac became the little horse that could for in-form Papakura trainer Steve Telfer on Auckland Cup day on the premier New Year's Eve programme.
He moved Telfer, who learned his craft as a stable foreman for Barry Purdon for many years, to 26 wins for the season.
Telfer is currently third on the trainers’ premiership, trailing Allstars trainers, Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen (46 wins), and the Robert Dunn stable (32 wins).
Hunter Bromac, bred by Bromac Lodge and Cee Bee Holdings Ltd, is still raced by former West Melton trainer Michael House along with partner Paul Howlett, despite transferring out of the House stable after winning at Manawatu on November 2.
Hunter Bromac, a diminutive Christian Cullen gelding from 1:51 North American miler Humminbird (Caprock-Tenisha, by Nero's BB-Tiawana), has relished racing right-handed at Alexandra Park for Telfer.
He was midfield twice at his first two Auckland starts, then preceded his premier win with three seconds at northern headquarters.
Despite the good lead-up form, Hunter Bromac was at a generous $16.40-win quote to take out the $20,400 rating 52-60 Sims Pacific Metals Mobile Pace from the one gate.
Driver David Butcher stayed out of the early burn, giving Hunter Bromac every chance three back on the markers, then in a masterful move found openings to switch him across the sulkies of the leading runners on home turn.
Hunter Bromac pounced late wide in a perfectly timed finish for the senior Butcher, arriving to knock out favourite Freedom Fighter, driven by Butcher's son Zac, in the shadows of the post.
He was able to beat one of the most even races on the premier card, stopping the timer at a career best 2:40.3 for the mobile 2200m (1:57.2 mile rate).
This was the fourth win from 48 starts for Hunter Bromac, who has also picked up 12 placings, for $47,984.
He's the third good winner from the first three to race for dam Humminbird, who initially won once as a three-year-old filly in NZ for trainer John Hay, rating 2:00.9 over 1700m at Forbury in 2003.
Humminbird went on to win another 19 races in North America, and returned to NZ for breeding with stakes earning the equivalent of ,845.
Her first two foals, Hurricane Bromac (1:53, Aust) and Hawkeye Bromac (1:56.2, Aust), have both raced on well in Australia after initially winning in NZ.
Hurricane Bromac, after winning nine for Robert Dunn, has won a further five in Australia, taking his earnings to $116,886, while Hawkeye Bromac, who won twice in NZ for Lincoln Farms trainer Ray Green, has taken his record to 10 wins and $78,196 across the Tasman.
Mockingjay, a Bettor's Delight mare and the fourth to race for Humminbird, has been a consistent maiden in five starts this term for West Melton trainer Paul Young.
In recent seasons, Humminbird has left an Art Major filly, now three, and was served last season by Somebeachsomewhere.
Humminbird is a half-sister by Caprock to former NZ mobile 2400m 3YO record holder Rider On The Storm, who went 2:54.5 at Winton in 2007 and numbered a Gr. 2 2009 Franklin Cup among his 13 wins for $188,342 for the Robert Dunn stable.
Tuuala Franco, a two-win sister to Humminbird, left good mare, 2005 Cheviot Cup winner Tidal Franco (1:57.2, nine wins from 38 starts for $180,583), for Ellesmere trainer Dean Taylor.
Tidal Franco was a multiple runnerup in fillies and mares features, finishing second to Mainland Banner in the 2006 Gr. 2 Caduceus Club Of Canterbury Premier Mares Championship; second to That's Life Lavra in the 2004 Listed $117,000 PGG NZ Yearling Sales 3YO Fillies Pace at Addington; and second to Pascale Bromac in the Gr.2 Nevele R Stakes, won in NZ record time.
She's the dam of another useful Dean Taylor winner in That's Hunting Pink (1:58.7, five wins).
Humminbird is also a half-sister to another good former Dean Taylor winner in Irak Attack (1:50.4, US; who won eight of only 21 NZ starts, and another good former Robert Dunn winner in The Perfect Storm (1:53.8, US), a winner of a combined 18 races in NZ, Australia and North America, for $227,128.
Other half-sisters to Humminbird in Tisha and Tessa Franco have bred on.
Tisha became the dam of big-winning pacer Jaccka Taurus (1:53.8, US; 22 wins & $171,268) and Franco Traveller (1:53.4, US), and Sonnet, the unraced Caprock dam of now retired hardy Canterbury pacer Sonnetson (nine wins & $92,617) for trainer Margo Nyhan.
This line from Tenisha has also left smart NSW winner Fliteoftheconcords (1:53.9), a Falcon Seelster gelding from a fourth-line descendant of Tenisha in Truely Jaccka, who has won 14 of 60 starts for $63,741.
Tessa Franco (Holmes Hanover-Tenisha), a winner of 10 races from 42 starts, mostly in Australia, left the notable winner Tessace (1:56.6, 19 wins for $97,935).
This is the family further back of Tammera, who won five for the late Wayne Francis and co-owner Malcolm Shinn, including beating Maureen's Dream in the 1985 John Brandon Fillies Triple Crown Classic at Addington.
Tammera left Tentative, the one-win Holmes Hanover dam of Theresa Franco (1:58.6, Aust), Tina Jaccka (1:58.5), Trudy Jaccka (1:58.2), Barchetta (1:50.8, US), Motu Living Doll (dam of current smart pacer Mongolian Hero (1:56.7, seven wins & $136,494); and Unrehearsed (1:58.3), a three-win mare who has made a big impact at stud.
Unrehearsed is the dam of five top winners including NZ filly record holder, Lizzie Maguire (1:55.1, 12 wins from 28 starts for $477,366), who for the Gareth Dixon stable won the inaugural 2007 Harness Jewels 2YO Diamond in 1:56.5 and 2008 Northern Oaks, and was the runner-up in the 3YO Harness Jewels Diamond and Australasian Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies Final, and third in an Australian Oaks.
Others from Unrehearsed include: Thomas Maguire (1:56.2, Aust), Victoria Derby third-place-getter Matt Maguire (p3, 1:53.9); Tori Maguire (p3, 1:57) and Martine Maguire (p2, 1:57.7).
Lizzie Maguire, herself, is already the dam of three in 2:00 including Kimani (1:57h, Aust), Asuka (1:56.9, mile rate, 1700m) and Master George (p3, 1:59.9, mile rate, 2200m).