By Duane Ranger
Mark Rees’ ‘bread and butter’ horse, just bought him a stack load of sandwiches.
The Peak Crossing trainer was staggered when his Stonebridge Regal gelding, Wee Jimmy, paid $51 to win the fifth race at Albion Park on Saturday night (July 27). He was the ninth favourite of 12.
“I had a little piece of that. He’s a nice old horse who I thought was equal to any of his opposition in that race. He’s been so consistent to me over the years. He’s ran a lot of seconds and thirds and has won more than $30,000 in stakes for us alone this season,” Rees said.
Wee Jimmy notched up his 12th career win in his 150th start in Saturday’s $11,000 Egmont Park Stud Inspirational R55 to R65 Pace.
The 7-year-old bay has also placed 48 times and banked $88,769.
Wee Jimmy copped the widest front-row draw (7), so driver, Nathan Dawson, had no option to settle him last on what was a torrid first and second quarter.
Then with a lap remaining Dawson managed to slot ‘Jimmy’ into the three-wide train. At the top of the straight they were in striking distance of runaway leader, and another New Zealand-bred, Havana Moon.
Half way down the lane Wee Jimmy got the better of the pace-maker to win by two metres. He stopped the clock in 2:34.8 (mile rate 1:56.5) for the 2,138m mobile. His sectionals were 30.2, 30.7, 28.6 and 29.8.
“He felt awesome tonight. Mark has him ticking along nicely. We sat back on a quick pace and he sprinted hard when I asked him. He did that real well," Dawson said post-race.
Rees owns Wee Jimmy and he was bred by Kiwi, Bruce Greenhaigh.
“My daughter, Amy, who is a really good judge of horseflesh, bought him from New Zealand. He had his first start at Albion Park in August 2018. Then Amy took him to New South Wales, and he raced there from February to September in 2017.
“I really value him a lot, he’s been so good to us since he came over from New Zealand,” Rees said.
Wee Jimmy was exported from his homeland on July 28, 2015. Canterbury trainer, Brad Mowbray, lined him up five times, where he ran third on four occasions.
“I honestly thought he was a chance going into this race because he was checked last start and finished an unlucky sixth.
“He’s still a strong horse and will definitely be back racing next season. Before then I’d like to take him to Marburg on Sunday,” Rees said.
Meanwhile, Australia’s top trainer Grant Dixon, increased his record-breaking lead at the top of the Australia Trainer’s Premiership with another three wins on Saturday evening.
He kicked off the night with a gutsy win behind Tennyson Bromac in race one, and then nailed the last two races with Leos Best and Our Overanova respectively.
Dixon smashed Emma Stewart’s national training record of 309 wins at Albion Park last Tuesday. With 34 days remaining in the 2018-2019 season, Dixon currently has 318 wins – about 40 more than Stewart.
“It’s been a great season but I don’t have any targets like 350 or so. We just want to keep winning, and I’ll be doing that right up until the last day of the season – then we all start again,” the brilliant Tamborine horseman said.