Harness Jewels: Pete's Big Jim trainer proud to gain Emerald invite

Pete's Big Jim. Picture: Courtney Rees
Pete's Big Jim. Picture: Courtney Rees

SAWYERS Gully hobby trainer Stacie Elliott won’t have her name next to Pete’s Big Jim’s on the prestigious New Zealand Harness Jewels program on June 2, but she hopes to be part of the raceday excitement and the two-year-old’s future.

Pete’s Big Jim was a surprise invitee on Monday for the group 1 Emerald for two-year-old colts and geldings at the Cambridge Raceway meeting.

Only a select few Australian horses are asked to contest the annual series which offers $(NZ)150,000 ($138,292) prizemoney for each pacing event.

Elliott has trained Pete’s Big Jim to two wins and four placings from nine starts but has handed over the reins to Menangle-based former Hunter team Shane and Lauren Tritton for the Jewels.

The Trittons took over after Pete’s Big Jim ran fourth at Menangle on Saturday night in the group 3 Rod Fitzpatrick Memorial but Elliott hopes to have him back after the trans-Tasman trip.

“We just felt that was best for the horse, even though he’s been going well, we felt spending three weeks at Menangle would just sharpen him up,” Elliott said. ”He’s meant to come back and have a small spell, and then we’ll decide whether to go to Victoria for the Breeders Challenge.

“I expect Shane is going to do a great job with him while he’s over in New Zealand, so it’s good.”

The Trittons were already heading to the Jewels with two-year-old filly Platinum Revolution. Elliott said the travelling partner would ease Pete’s Big Jim’s anxieties, and Lauren was “one of the best drivers around”. 

Owned by Canberra-based golf businessman and former pro Peter Kohlsdorf, Pete’s Big Jim won a heat of the Breeders Plate at Leeton on debut in January and was second in the group 3 Sapling Stakes at Menangle in February.

Elliott was proud to have helped Pete’s Big Jim, a Ready to Run Sale buy, get to the Jewels.

“It just shows all the hard work’s paid off,” she said. 

“I know I’ve got him through to where he’s got the invite, so it’s really good. I’m thinking of still going over and strapping for them and still being there with him.

“When he goes over for something like that, we want to make sure he’s on his game and I’m the first to admit I’m only a hobby trainer and I don’t have the equipment at my disposal that the Trittons and that do.

“He’s only a baby and it will do him good and hopefully when he does come back, he’ll come back sharper and a better racehorse.”

As for the chances of Pete’s Big Jim causing an upset, she said: “He tries his heart out every time and the stupid part is the faster they go, the better he likes it. He loves the speed being on so it might suit him down to the ground.”

Meanwhile, Maitland reinswoman Lily Hosking was having precautionary scans on her neck after a fall on her home track on Monday.

Hosking was driving Wallaroy Boy for her grandfather, East Maitland trainer Robin Hosking, in race two of eight. The race was declared a no race and Hosking was taken by ambulance to hospital.