Petes Big Jim in a recent Sydney run. Photo: Ashlea Brennan.
Juvenile pacing gelding Petes Big Jim has been announced as the Australian representative in the 2YO Emerald at the Harness Jewels on June 2.
The Jewels, which this year will be held at Cambridge Raceway, is breaking new ground with an unprecedented amount of Australian invitations now issued (seven).
Petes Big Jim, a son of Big Jim, emerged as a possible Jewels contender after placing second behind College Chapel in the Group 3 Sapling Stakes at Menangle in February, and on that occasion fellow Jewels invitee Platinum Revolution finished in third.
On Saturday night he was a close fourth in the Group 3 Rod Fitzpatrick Memorial, which was won by Shoobee Doo.
Owner Peter Kohlsdorf is better known for his role as an Australian professional golfer, but was elated to receive the invitation, as he had been dreaming of a trip to the Jewels with the horse.
“I’m over the moon. I’ve been working really hard with Darrin Williams trying to obtain this invitation,” said Kohlsdorf.
“I purchased the horse from the Ready to Run Sale at Menangle and it’s the first time I have had a horse in my own ownership.”
“I’ve actually been an enthusiast of harness racing since the late sixties, but I never had a horse until four years ago.
“My wife always said ‘you can punt as much as you want but you’re never going to feed one.”
Kohlsdorf runs the biggest independent golf operation in Australia, ‘Pete’s Golf Connection.’
It features a massive 1500-metre golf showroom, day and night driving range and mini golf range based at the Canberra International Golf Centre.
As a golfer, Kohlsdorf ’s claim to fame came when he finished second in a Pro Am at just 21 and finished three shots ahead of the great Jack Nicklaus.
He’s achieved so much in his own career but is now proud to represent his country on a whole new stage.
“We are going over there to represent Australia and Club Menangle, and we’re very proud of that.”
Petes Big Jim is now in the stable of Lauren and Shane Tritton after earlier being prepared by Stacey Elliot.