Steve Braunias edits the books section of the Newsroom, ReadingRoom. His latest book is a veritable crime collection, Missing People. He is a well-known writer for the NZ Herald.

New Zealand’s top crime writer pulls his shirt – more like his house, actually – on his father’s horse, Ocean Billy, to win the Melbourne Cup. JP (Josh) Pomare, author of four burning crime novels, urges Kiwis to support the fox gelding in tomorrow’s race.

The 53.5 kg horse flew from Rotorua to Melbourne for the 7.75 million -Dollar glamor event attend. He won the Waikato Cup in Te Rapa in December, the Auckland Cup in Ellerslie in March, and made $ 326,452 for main owner and coach Bill Pomare, a 73-year-old who is actually more famous in Rotorua than the longtime time holder of Pomare Electrical , an equipment repair company on Lake Road in Ohinemutu. “You think he’s good with horses,” said JP, “you should see what he can do with a ten year old washing machine.”

The latest novel by Rotorua-raised, Melbourne-based writer The Last Guests received a rave review on ReadingRoom. He tells stories of secrets, pressure, violent liberation; really, he’s a master of suspense. Anything can happen … Ocean Billy pays $ 51 for a win, $ 11 for a seat at Flemington. The gelding was recently beaten up by hot Melbourne Cup favorite Incentivize at the Caulfield Cup and finished ninth (although he still earned A $ 120,000 for battling his way into the top 10 on the unsuitable wet track). But as for JP, he’s the horse to watch.

“I think he can win,” he said. “I don’t think that’s out of the question. It’s a tough question against Incentivise, but the thing is – his Auckland Cup run, if he repeats that and if he’s in the middle he has a much better chance. ” than the bookies over here gave him.

“He’s a real stalker and the longer the race the better. He won the two mile Auckland Cup by four or five lengths and probably still would Can do a lap. So he has a good chance I would say. My advice is don’t let him out of your three-bets. If he’s going like the Auckland Cup, I can’t imagine he’s going too far off pace different. “

When asked if he would put his money where his mouth is, JP said,” Yes, I am. We have to reschedule if he doesn’t win. I have a good bet Bet on him. More money than me I’ve never made a bet in my life. So I hope he gets up. “

” I’ve beaten him in every way. If he almost wins and comes in third, am I’m happy. You have him at really good odds, so I’d be so happy for Dad if he got a nose loses in front. ”

JP Pomare was the favorite to win the Ngaio Marsh Crime Writing Award for Best Novel at the 2021 Awards held on Saturday night for his third book, Tell Me Lies. He lost, but that was because of the stupidity of the judges. At the Melbourne Cup, the 24 horses run on their own. First place pays $ 4.4 million, the second $ 1.1 million, the third $ 550,000; Fourth place costs $ 350,000, fifth place costs 230,000 US dollars, and sixth to twelfth places cost 160,000 US dollars. For owner-trainer Bill Pomare there are actually very nice sums at stake. Covid has refused to attend Flemington, but JP has been given 10 tickets to join the crowd, which is capped at 10,000. His mission for the squad of 10 is to track down 10 floppy hats and wear them in honor of Bill Pomare, who is never seen on race day without his truly distinctive, 100% Daggy hat.

Bill Pomare came to the Horse racing when he bought the mare Flying Beau at auction in the late 1980s. Since then, he has won more than 80 races on horses from a single family traced back to Flying Beau, including Call Me Evie, which he named in honor of JP’s debut novel. (He gave his son a five percent stake; the mare won the $ 10,000 Showtechnix Maiden in Tauranga in 2019.) “They always felt like family,” said JP. “We always joked that there are more pictures of horses in the house than of the family. He loves them so much and they end up on a farm in a glorious horse retirement village.”

JP Pomare’s books are full of good drawn characters – a teenage girl held hostage in Call Me Evie, a psychologist involved in the death of a commuter in Tell Me Lies – but he was rather less defined in his remarks about Ocean Billy. “A horse is a horse to me. I couldn’t look at a horse and see anything other than a horse, just as I couldn’t look at a cow and see anything other than a cow.” Well, could he pick Ocean Billy out of a crowd? He thought so; you don’t see many chestnut thoroughbreds with three white socks and a white spot on their nose, and he confidently identified Ocean Billy in a photo a friend showed him on Instagram. “But dad said, ‘No, he’s not.'”

As for his father, he spoke of Bill Pomare with love and a kind of awe. He said he had thought long and hard about writing a biography of his father’s “eventful” life and mentioned a few details: Borstal, the rumor that he invented the name Mongrel Mob, and literally too many children to own it counting. “Before me, he had about nine or ten children and only knew six or seven, really. I am the fourth. My mother died when I was ten. He’s been the parent for 23 years… “

Bill Pomare’s horse training has long been viewed by the family as a kind of hobby, or scratchie cards that sometimes won. “So that’s a late turn that we didn’t see coming – a Melbourne Cup runner after 30 years of horse training.”

Okay. But to talk about the Melbourne Cup means to take a deep breath and really only talk about one thing: the strength and fame of the wonder horse Incentivise, the shortest favorite since Phar Lap in 1930. The bay gelding won 1st on the Sunshine Coast in April, and he’s won a number of nine races since then, many over phenomenal distances. He’s now made $ 4.6 million. His trainer Steve Treegea said, “He really has to enjoy it because he makes it so easy.”

But JP Pomare – Ngāpuhi, attended Kaharoa Primary, Boys ‘High, Western Heights’ High and Waiariki Polytechnic, now one very, very good novelist – has a different story to tell.

“I don’t think it’s going to win,” he said of Incentivise. “I don’t see it. I don’t see it win over three miles. I don’t like it. The story that day will only be about incentives, but remember that the kiwi horse Prince of Penzance 101 US Paid dollars to win the 2015 Melbourne Cup and he stormed home. These things happen. We’ll see how it goes on. ” The Last Guests by JP Pomare (Hachette, $ 35) is available in bookstores across the country.

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