Simsfield Hardtimes flirts with track record
It proved to be a case of deja vu for in-form gelding Simsfield Hardtimes at the National Equestrian Centre last Saturday.
With driver Kirista Rabain at the helm and racing on the rail in a two-horse heat with stallion Special Gold in the Free for All Division, Aaron Sims’ pony stopped the clock at 1:01.2 to equal the season’s fastest time he set at the previous meeting .
The time also equalled the gelding record Simsfield Hardtimes shares with War Machine and was only a tenth of a second shy of the overall track of 1:01.1 held by retired mare Google Me.
“He is in his prime and feeling good,” Sims said. “He’s training well and we have been doing our homework and it’s paying off in training and races.”
Sims said his pony exceeded expectations competing in cooler conditions.
“The track was looking good but the weather was cold and I did not think he would go that fast with the weather being being as cold as it was,” he added.
“But when you get a rail and you are knocking on the record, you basically go for it every time, so Kirista pushed him and every time she asked him to go he just gave her more and more. When they called the time we were like ‘wow’. We weren’t expecting that because it was cold.
“We were expecting to go fast and we knew it was a fast race because we had pulled away from the other pony a good bit, but we didn’t expect that so it’s pretty exciting. The overall track record is there and it’s just like knocking on the door again.
“That’s where we’re at and next time we get a rail and it’s a good day and he’s feeling good, we’ll give it a go again. I definitely think he’s capable of breaking the record, everything just has to be all in a row and right time and right place.”
Sims’ pony also won the second heat against Special Gold with the night’s second fastest time of 1:02.3 to complete a clean sweep of victories in his respective division.
Mello Family’s War Machine, Lee and Sergio Raynor’s Special Gold grabbed a share of the third fastest time of 1:03.2.
Also impressing was Itsallaboutme whot got both legs out of the 1:04.3 - 1:05.3 time bar. The Graceland Stables’ gelding posted a 1:04 flat with driver Darico Clarke in the bike to advance to the Junior Free for All division.
Also on the move was Samantha Hayward’s gelding, Pokies Fly By, who achieved the same feat in posting a 1:07 flat with driver and trainer Macray Bulford at the helm to advance from the 1:08 – 1:10 time bar.