Ancroft Stud owner Philip Brown is keeping his feet on the ground as excitement mounts all around him over the potential of four-year-old galloper Levante (Proisir (AUS)-Island Doy (GB) by Doyoun).
Brown and his wife Catherine share in the ownership of the Proisir mare with long-time friend Tony Enting and his wife Mary, former touring golf professional Mark Tapper and several other mates under their Sandringham Investments Ltd banner.
Beaten only once in five starts as a three-year-old, Levante announced her ascension to the upper echelon of talent in New Zealand with a blistering finish in the hands of Sam Collett to take out the Listed Haunui Farm Counties Bowl (1100m) at Pukekohe on Saturday.
The performance set tongues wagging about how far the Ken and Bev Kelso-trained galloper can go during this campaign with Brown just happy to see her back on the track, performing up to her best, after a lengthy absence.
“Watching that run it certainly made me go wow,” Brown said.
“She has done that every time she has gone to the races, come with that powerful run to win.
“Sometimes we have thought she just couldn’t do it as she was too far back but she has found a way to succeed.
“She’s very exciting and we’re very happy to have her back doing what she does best.
“I know Ken (Kelso) said to Sam not to be too hard on her and she only had to give her one flick behind the saddle to get her into top gear.
“She’s eaten everything up overnight and is bright this morning (Sunday) so she has come through the run really well.”
Brown admits that there have been some massive offers for the mare, right from when she won her first race, but the not for sale sign is firmly out as the syndicate enjoy the thrill of having a potential topliner on their hands.
“I’ve known Tony (Enting) since we were in form one together at school and he was the best man at my wedding,” Brown said.
“Despite the sale offers there have been, from some of the best stables in Australasia, money can’t buy the pleasure that this horse is giving us so we’ve just said she’s not for sale.
“We’re enjoying the ride which is just marvellous.”
It was Brown who put the ownership syndicate together for Levante after he had foaled her down at his Ancroft Stud property for her breeder Scott Williams.