Day At The Track

Pete's Big Jim paces towards big future

03:17 PM 17 May 2018 NZST
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Limousine Livia
Narrabri pacer Limousine Livia driven by Brad Elder at Maitland on Monday
First Place Photography

Tamworth harness racing followers have seen an emerging star in the making – Pete’s Big Jim. Kudos to Sawyers Gully trainer Stacie Elliott who has done a sterling job with the two-year-old pacer.

On Monday, Pete’s Big Jim received an invitation to contest the Harness Jewels, Group 1 Emeralds for two-year-old colts and geldings at Cambridge Raceway in New Zealand on June 2 with a prize purse of $A138,292  prize money for each pacing event.

Elliott has trained Pete’s Big Jim to two wins and four placings from nine starts. He has now elected to hand over the preparation for the NZ campaign to Menangle-based and former Hunter team Shane and Lauren Tritton for the Jewels.

Pete’s Big Jim emerged as a possible Jewels contender when finishing second behind College Chapel in the Group 3 Sapling Stakes at Menangle in February.

Team Tritton were already heading to the Jewels with two-year-old filly Platinum Revolution.

After winning a heat of the Leeton Breeders Plate on debut in January, Pete’s Big Jim featured at the Tamworth Paceway for his next career win in April, taking out the Nev Brown Memorial.

Owned by Canberra-based golf businessman and former golf pro Peter Kohlsdorf, who has had a keen interest in the sport since the late 1960s, this is the first time he has actually owned a pacer by himself without a syndicate.

Kohlsdorf once finished second in a pro am event to Jack Nicklaus.

Hats off also to Maitland reinsman Peter Hedges who has driven Pete’s Big Jim in all of his race starts.

THE Hetherington stables at Narrabri will be eagerly awaiting the release of the barrier draw for Limousine Livia in the $20,000 Tabcorp Park Menangle Country Series Final to be contested at Menangle on May 26. 

After missing a berth in the Tamworth heat on May 4 when the mare finished third to Last Party (Guy Chapple -MR 2.01.6 for 1609m), trainer Jarred Hetherington headed to Newcastle last Saturday night to win that heat with a MR of 1.58 for 1609 metres.

Limousine Livia then stepped out at the Maitland meeting on Monday to back up for another win with her stats now recording 16 starts for six wins and four placings.

Other winners in the series staged so far and looking for a favourable draw are Joes Star of Mia at Forbes from the Steve Turnbull stables with a MR of 1.57.3 for 1680 metres, and Untitled from the Brad Hewitt stables at Wagga with a MR of 1.55.6 for 1755m, which was also a track record.

The last leg of the series will be conducted at Cowra on Sunday as part of Cowra’s Carnival of Cups meeting.

SADLY, this week we saw the tragic passing of Strathlachlan Andy at a Cranbourne harness meeting. Strathlachlan Andy was raced by the Harding family, who are former residents of the north-west now based at Bobs Farm in Newcastle.

Geoff handled the training of Strathlachlan Andy, while eldest son Matthew was the owner and youngest son James took the reins on occasion.

Undertaking a campaign in Victoria under the training of Michael Stanley, Andy had two starts with a second in the Swan Hill Anzac Cup at his first start before a win at the Cranbourne meeting, going 1.55 for 1720 metres.

A race fall at Cranbourne on Saturday night saw Strathlachlan Andy suffer a fracture mid-shaft on his near-hind cannon bone and the horse was humanely euthanised on the track.

With a career that spanned 73 race starts for 26 wins and 24 placings, some of Andy’s achievements were:

2015 - Harness Racing NSW 2015 Country Cups Champion and broke track records at Tamworth and Armidale.

2015 and 2016 - Wins in the Cootamundra Cup.

2015 and 2016 – Wins in the Armidale Cup.

2018 - Finished third in the Armidale Cup to Clintal Do.

2015 – Win of the Narrabri Cup.

2014 – Heat and Final win of the Muswellbrook Cup.

2015 – Win in a heat of the Tamworth Golden Guitar before taking out the $25,000 Listed Classic Final of the Prydes Easifeed Golden Guitar.

2014 – A heat win of the Menangle Where Horses Fly at Forbes before taking out the $25,000 Listed Classic Final at Menangle where his personal best mile rate of 1.53.9 was recorded for 1609 metres.

2014 – Won a heat of the Maitland Inter City Pace before finishing sixth to All Eyes On Us in the Group 3 Final.

HARNESS racing will return to the Tamworth Paceway on May 25.

By Julie Maughan

Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

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