Good times rolling for Simsfield Hardtimes
Aaron Sims’s gelding Simsfield Hardtimes has endured more than his share of, well, hard times over the course of the harness racing season.
After making a strong start to the campaign, Sims’s pony has been plagued by injury and sickness. “I’ve had some hard luck with him this year and it’s just been one thing after another,” Sims said.
However, some encouraging performances of late strongly suggest there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for Simsfield Hardtimes.
Sims’s pony won two heats at the Bermuda Equestrian Centre on February 9 and last weekend achieved a lifetime best of 1:02/1 — the fastest on the night — en route to victory in the Free for All.
“Last weekend we finally had a rail, because we have been stuck in the middle last couple of weeks, and we let him go and he went a lifetime best and fastest time of the night.
“Two weeks ago he was double-heat winner and was alongside when Reel Patrol broke the Bermuda-bred record.
“He came from the two-hold and finished alongside her in a dead heat, so he has been coming back strong.”
Sims was forced to replace experienced driver Philip Correia with Dylan DeSilva after the former became burdened by work and other commitments.
It may have been a blessing in disguise as DeSilva and Simsfield Hardtimes have gelled nicely.
“Philip’s been busy with work and life, so I put Dylan in the bike who races out of my stable anyway,” Sims said.
“He races Double Time, who was tied with Reel Patrol for the Bermuda-bred record, and it’s like his sixth race driving him and he’s put him in his lifetime mark. I think they are doing well together.”
Sims could not have asked for a better time for his racing pony to round into form going into the season-ending Champion of Champions involving the nine fastest ponies this weekend.
“I’m pretty excited and happy with him, but it all comes down to the draw, which can upset your day,” he said. “It’s not going to be a walk in the park, that’s for sure.
“War Machine [the overall track record holder] and Gold n Glory are the two fastest, but they are finished for the season while the rest of us are all within the same ballpark, so it’s going to be a good.”
The four fastest ponies on average time during the qualifying heats on Saturday at Vesey Street will advance to the final on Sunday.