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Beau Don (1950s)

Beau Don

Bred and raced by Tammin farmer Les Carter, from the first time that he was put in a cart Beau Don showed his trainer Bill Foy that something special which separates the truly great horses from those which are merely very good.

As a 3yo Beau Don won his first six races and left a series of records smashed including taking one and half seconds of the WA Derby record with a sensational last lap that left fans gasping as he came from an apparently impossible position to win with ease.

Beau Don then set a new Australian mark for a three year old over 12 furlongs as he beat older horses.

As a 4yo Beau Don took his record to 11 wins in 13 starts as he became a new record holder for the quickest graduation through the metropolitan classes to open company.

Beau Don became the first horse to win successive WA Trotting Cups lowering the State record by seven seconds in the process with wins in 1952 and 1953.

His awesome displays of speed attracted fans to Gloucester Park in their droves, despite a draconian handicapping system that saw Beau Don conceding almost impossible handicaps to his rivals. That he was still able to win 35 races in Perth against the very best is testament to his remarkable ability.

Fans loved him like no horse before him and only a select few since.

Principal Wins

3yo season
1952 WA Derby Group One
1952 WA Sires Produce Stakes

4yo Season
1952 WA Pacing Cup Group One
1953 WA Inter Dominion heat
1953 WA Inter Dominion heat

5yo Season
1954 WA Pacing Cup Group One
1954 South Australian Inter Dominion heat
1954 WA Easter Cup

7yo Season
1957 New Year Handicap




Mount Eden (1960s/1970s)

Mount Eden

Mount Eden won six successive races as a 3yo shattering a series of State, Australian and World Records in the process.

Newspapers carried banner headlines and the colt's fan base grew to almost outlandish proportions as he became Western Australia's premier sports star. Such was the colt's drawing power that 5000 attended trials at Gloucester Park to watch him perform.

His value grew with his reputation and his owners later accepted an American offer of 300-thousand dollars, at that time the highest price paid for an Australian horse - pacer or galloper.

A scorching time trial at the 1971 New Zealand Inter Dominion carnival saw Mount Eden ranked in the fastest 20 pacers in the world and earned his owners an invitation to the 1971 Miracle Mile.

In a typical display Mount Eden's woeful barrier manners saw him lose a conservative 25 metres at the start against the best horses in Australasia before applying pressure at the 600 metre mark and then thrashing his rivals to score a famous win by 15 metres. It remains the benchmark for performances in Australia's premier sprint race.

Principal Wins

3yo season
1970 Western Gateway Stakes - World Record
1970 WA Sires Produce Stakes - State Record

4YO SEASON
1970 WA Christmas Handicap
1971 NSW Miracle Mile Group One




Daintys Daughter(1960s/1970s)

Daintys Daughter

Bred by her owner/trainer Jock Coleman at his Cunderdin farm and foaled in 1963, Daintys Daughter began her career as a 3yo in the summer of 1967 and brought up the first of her 36 wins at Kellerberrin.

Transferred to the stables of Coleman's great mate Bernie Cushing as a 4yo, Cushing was at the reins for 29 of her 33 Perth wins.

In a century of harness racing in Perth no other mare has won more than 25 city class races.

In the 1969 Meteor Mile at Gloucester Park Daintys Daughter set a new World Record mile mark of 1:58.8 for a mare on a half-mile track bettering the 1:59.2 set by Countess Adios at Delaware, Ohio in 1960.

It was just the third sub-2:00 race mile in Australia, bettered only by stallion Halwes which ran 1:58.6 in the 1968 Miracle Mile. She bettered the 1:59.0 run by champion New Zealand mare Robin Dundee in winning the 1967 Miracle Mile.

Her performances earned her the honour of being the first Western Australian horse invited to compete in the Miracle Mile.

When Daintys Daughter won the 1970 WA Pacing Cup by an ever-widening margin of 12yds, her time of 4:07.0 for the two miles from a standing start bettered the previous World Record of 4:07.6 set by New Zealand legend Johnny Globe in winning the 1954 New Zealand Cup.

She amazed racegoers with a remarkable win in the 1971 Fremantle Cup overcoming a 24 yard handicap and coming from near last at the bell, four and five horses wide, to win running away by eight yards from Comet Again.

Daintys Daughter remains the only mare to win the WA Pacing Cup/Fremantle Cup double since World War 11.

Principal Wins

3yo season
WA Country Derby

4YO SEASON
WA Christmas Gift

5YO SEASON
J P Stratton Cup
Meteor Mile Invitation Stakes (World Record)

6YO SEASON
WA Pacing Cup Group One (World Record)
WA State Sprint Championship

7YO SEASON
Fremantle Cup Group One




Pure Steel (1970s/1980s)

Pure Steel

Pure Steel was born in New South Wales in 1971 and purchased as a yearling by Perth bookmaker and businessman Russell Roberts for $2,400.

Pure Steel won the WA Derby and, as a 4yo, was taken to Adelaide for the 1976 Inter Dominion carnival with a record of 10 wins in just 15 starts.

He set an Australian Record for 1800 metres, when winning a heat on the opening night, but despite drawing the coveted pole position for the final, he was unable to run down the front-running Carclew.

While the biggest prize in harness racing was to continue to elude Pure Steel, almost every other major prize fell his way and often more than once.

He won four successive WA Pacing Cups in 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979 and remains the only three-time winner of Victoria's A G Hunter Cup.

Pure Steel's 1978 AG Hunter Cup win in World Record time, after racing outside NSW champion Rip Van Winkle, is still regarded by many as the greatest race ever run at Moonee Valley.

Pure Steel was an amazing athlete over a distance and in 1977 he won the 3300 metre Victorian Marathon rating 2:02.1.

The race is no longer run over 3300 metres, as it was considered too hard on the horses - perhaps mortal horses but never too hard for Pure Steel.

While Pure Steel was the undisputed staying champion of Australia he could also sprint at the highest level as evidenced by his win in the 1978 Miracle Mile. Pure Steel was the fastest horse in Australia in 1978 and again in 1980.

He was voted Australian Harness Horse of the Year in 1980 and was regarded by many as unlucky to not take this title in 1978 when honours went to the trotter Maori's Idol.

Principal Wins

3yo season
WA Derby Group One

4yo SEASON
WA Christmas Gift

5yo SEASON
WA Pacing Cup Group One
Victorian AG Hunter Cup Group One
Victorian Marathon Stakes

6yo SEASON
WA Pacing Cup Group One
Victorian AG Hunter Cup Group One

7yo SEASON
WA Pacing Cup Group One
South Australian Pacing Cup Group One

8yo SEASON
WA Pacing Cup Group One
Fremantle Cup Group One
Victorian AG Hunter Cup Group One
Match Race of the Century




Village Kid (1980s/1990s)

Village Kid

Village Kid was foaled in New Zealand on 4th December 1980 and, acting on the recommendation of Perth farrier Dudley Anderson, was bought for a little over $36,000 Australian dollars and commenced racing in Perth as a 4yo.

Later that season, as an M2 class 4yo, Village Kid won the 1985 WA Pacing Cup beating a very short-priced favourite Preux Chevalier.

A month later he finished a luckless second to Preux Chevalier in the Inter Dominion but then won the Inters the next year as a 5yo in Brisbane.

Village Kid owns the greatest winning sequence in Australian harness history after winning 19 successive races between February 1987 and February 1988.

While others may have won more in succession, all of Village Kid's wins came in fast-class races and included four Group One races across three States.

He shares the record of four WA Pacing Cup wins with another legend in Pure Steel and may have won five successive WA Cups had a barrier draw malfunction not caused the 1987 WA Pacing Cup to be re-drawn after Village Kid had originally drawn barrier one.

Village Kid is the only Western Australian pacer to have won two NSW Miracle Miles and his total of 13 Group One races is also a WA record.

Village Kid's 5yo, 6yo, 7yo and 8yo seasons saw him acknowledged as the best pacer in the Southern Hemisphere across each of those seasons.

From the time Village Kid turned 4yo until the end of his 8yo season he had 100 starts for 70 wins and 22 placings.

During this period he was twice voted Australian Harness Horse of the Year and was the first horse to be voted Australian Aged Pacer of the Year on three occasions.

As an 8yo Village Kid became the first and to date the only horse to win all three heats of an Inter Dominion twice when he achieved the feat in the 1989 Perth championship.

Principal Wins

4yo season
WA Pacing Cup Group One
FHRC Romeo Hanover Pace

5yo SEASONWA
Pacing Cup Group One
NSW Miracle Mile Group One
NSW Lord Mayors Cup Group One
Victorian AG Hunter Cup Group One
QLD Inter Dominion final Group One

6yo SEASON
FHRC Members Flying Mile
Mount Eden Sprint

7yo SEASON
WA Pacing Cup Group One
WA Australian Pacing Championship Group One
NSW Miracle Mile Group One
NSW MH Treuer Memorial Group One
Fremantle Cup Group One

8yo SEASON
WA Pacing Cup Group One
Fremantle Cup Group One






Binshaw (1960s/1970s)

Binshaw

Inter Dominion Winner Bred in Western Australia

On the second of September in 1961, a foal was born on a small farm hidden away in Western Australia's south-west. Few would have guessed he would become one of the State's greatest champions.

When broken in, the young Binshaw proved to be quite a handful, earning a reputation around Bunbury as a 'mongrel'. However, the young three year old managed a couple of country wins, went for a spell and as a four year old gelding was sold to a syndicate of Perth owners for 2000 guineas. In the stables of new trainer Bob Pollock, Binshaw won a couple of city races before Pollock also sent the bay to be spelled once more.

When he returned to racing as a five year old, Binshaw was trained in the stables of Phil Coulson, and won the 1966 Christmas Gift. Coulson then prepared him for the 1967 Inter Dominion Championships to be held at Gloucester Park. A relatively unknown horse when the series began, Binshaw's owners secured early odds of 100-1. In the gelding's first night clash with the champion Halwes, Binshaw left the Tasmanian horse in his dust. Three nights later he repeated the win, again over Halwes, which saw Binshaw head the list of qualifiers for the $10,000 Final. He then made history in the Final by blitzing the field to become the first Western Australian bred horse ever to win an Inter Dominion. Binshaw's feat has been repeated only once in the last forty-five years.

In April 1968, Binshaw ran in a special match race over a mile in a very fast 1:57.3. This record breaking run is not officially recognised as two of the three drivers were under suspension at the time. However no horse clocked a faster mile in Western Australia for the next 10 years.

His Final RaceM

Binshaw won his 29th and final race in 1976 as a 14 year old in the Fremantle Members Mile at Richmond Raceway from behind the mobile barrier, a piece of equipment he had not seen until he was a nine year old.

The Winning Post

Binshaw died in December 1996 at the remarkable age of 35, receiving his greatest honour posthumously: his remains were laid under the winning post at Gloucester Park, the track where he won 20 of his 24 city class races.




Preux Chevalier (1980s)

Preux Chevalier

The Valiant Knight

The French name 'Preux Chevalier' translates to 'Valiant Knight', and the horse was as striking as his name. When the bay was presented at the 1980 Yearling Sales in Perth, Ken and Wendy Lavin fell in love with the colt, a love that would last a lifetime and take them to four states in Australia and both islands of New Zealand.

Preux Chevalier's first feature win was the 4 year old leg of the Triple Crown in 1983, followed later that year with a win in the Western Australian 4 & 5 Year Old Championship. He capped off the year with a stunning victory in the WA Pacing Cup with a mile rating of 1:56.9 over 2275 metres. By the time he was a six year old, Preux Chevalier was proving to be almost unbeatable, racing against Australia's elite. However, he had a serious challenge when Village Kid arrived on the scene, and defeated him in the 1984 WA Pacing Cup.

When the two horses were pitted against each other again in the 1985 Inter Dominion Final at Moonee Valley, the valiant knight caused major concern to both his connections and thousands of punters across Australia when he suffered a colic attack in the parade ring just prior to the race. When the starter's bell sounded however, it was sweet revenge for Preux Chevalier, who beat Village Kid on the post, and took out Australasia's greatest race.

Another exciting night followed when the horses clashed again at the 1985 Winter Cup at Gloucester Park. Preux Chevalier was victorious once more.

In his short career, Preux Chevalier totalled 41 wins from just 56 starts, set three World Records, one Australasian Record, five Australian and six State Records and won almost $800,000 in prize money.

1985 – A Vintage Year

Preux Chevalier was named 1985 Australian Harness Horse of the Year, Australian Pacer of the Year, Grand Circuit Champion and Victorian Harness Horse of the Year. He also took out his second successive WA Harness Horse of the Year title.

Final Honour

In 2007, the 29 year old suffered complications from a twisted bowel and was sadly put down on a property in Bullsbrook, Western Australia, where his loving owners, Ken and Wendy Lavin agisted horses. The champion was buried, proudly wrapped in his 1985 Inter Dominion dress rug.


Kola Girl (1910s to 1920s)

kola girl

Champion Mare of the 1920s

In August 1915 a four year old chestnut mare was registered with the Western Australian Trotting Association. Her name was Kola Girl and she was owned by Richard Hesford. Kola Girl won her first race for Hesford at Midland Junction in October 1915, followed by a win at the WACA Ground track on 27 December that same year. Unfortunately Hesford was forced away to war and he was obliged to sell his interest in Kola Girl.

Tom Foy was more fortunate, having the opportunity to purchase Kola Girl in 1917. He both raced and trained the mare, winning the Easter Handicap of 130 sovereigns in April 1917. She won by 15 lengths proving to Foy that she was capable of ‘richer purses’. In 1918 Kola Girl entered the WA Pacing Cup Final (worth 600 sovereigns) in an era when pacers and trotters were either ‘ridden’ or ‘driven’. An outstanding horseman by the name of ‘Doc’ Clayton ‘rode’ the mare. She started an odds on favourite, eclipsing the race record by a remarkable 11 secs and winning by a margin of 25 yards.

Like so many champions of her era, Kola Girl found herself massively handicapped, but even in the fastest of classes she still managed to win a great many races. As a 12 year old she shattered the State Pacer’s Record at the 1923 Perth Royal Show and her time of 2:07.8s stood as the Australian Mile record until 1941.

Kola Girl remains the only mare to hold the Australian Pacer’s Mile Record. By 1925, as a 14 year old, this fast mare held WA records over one mile, nine furlongs, 10 furlongs, 11 furlongs and two miles. Kola Girl won 19 races in Perth and was undoubtedly the best horse of her era.

Kolect

At the age of 16 Kola Girl was sold to JP Stratton, also a Hall of Fame inductee, who was establishing a stud farm. She produced a champion in the form of Kolect, who went on to win the 1937 WA Pacing Cup from a handicap of 108 yards behind.


San Simeon (1970s to 1980s)

san simeon

A True Champion

To this day, San Simeon holds the Australian record for the most consecutive wins, having won his first 29 race starts as a two year old, three year old and four year old. He recorded four wins at Group 1 level which include a WA Derby, Australian Derby and WA Pacing Cup. He was voted Australian 2 year old Pacer of the Year in 1979, Australian 3 year old Pacer of the Year in 1980 and Australian Harness Horse of the Year in 1981.

As an unbeaten two year old he recorded 10 wins which included the Golden Slipper Stakes and WA Triple Crown. In his next six starts as a three year old, he took out the WA Derby and Australian Derby. He then won his next 13 starts as a four year old, including the WA Pacing Cup and Inter Dominion Final. He returned as a five year old to win at his second 4 and 5 year old Championship and later represented Australia in the 1982 World Cup in the USA.

The horse was owned by the Porter family at Milson Lodge in Armadale, where Lou Austin was their private trainer and stud master. Austin had a close relationship with San Simeon. He had helped deliver the foal in 1976 and after breaking in the colt, the two became inseparable.

The victories had begun easily but in 1979 disaster loomed when San Simeon contracted a mystery ailment and almost died. The horse hardly ate a scrap of feed for three weeks, but Austin believed the horse had the will to survive. He also recalled, “When San Simeon broke the State Record for the number of wins it suddenly hit me. The Australian Record became a reality and not a dream.” The champion pacer broke the Australian record on 12 December 1980 with his 25th consecutive win and on 7 March 1981 recorded his 29th consecutive win.

An Exciting Journey

When San Simeon won the 1981 WA Pacing Cup, it was his 28th consecutive win. Lou Austin described his victory as, “One of the biggest thrills I’ve ever had in my life.”

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