Old war horse Beetson still has fight left in him

Amy Rees

216 starts and he’s still throwing new strings to his bow.

Harness Racing trainer Peter Trevor-Jones
Beetson winning recently at Bathurst. Photo: Amy Rees

He may be one of the oldest horses going around, but with age comes wisdom and 13-year-old Beetson has plenty of that.

An unexpected winner of the Bathurst Gold Crown as a two-year-old, the Art Major USA gelding is still surprising connections 11 years later.

“He just continues to surprise,” trainer Peter Trevor-Jones said.

“215 starts and he’s still throwing new strings to his bow.”

Trevor-Jones’s first and only Group 1 winner, it’s fair to say that Artie, as he is fondly known as, definitely holds a soft spot in his trainer’s heart.

With the new season beginning, there’s no signs yet of the ‘big fella’ needing to retire.

“He’s feeling unreal at home, bucking around the paddock. He’ll tell me when it’s time but he’s not telling me he’s sick of it yet.”

Beetson with trainer Peter Trevor-Jones and driver Tom Pay. Photo: Amy Rees

As a young horse, Beetson sustained a leg injury and was away from the track for just shy of a year and a half.

For him to return to the race track was a big enough achievement, let alone go on to race for another 10 years and notch up another 38 wins – on top of the seven he had already achieved pre-injury.

Looking to add to his total of 45 lifetime victories, Beetson is set to head out onto the race track for the 216th time on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle.

Although he hasn’t won a race at Menangle since May 2017, the seasoned pacer has two wins and three seconds next to his name from his last eight starts and according to Trevor-Jones, he is feeling superb.

“Tommy said after his last start that it was the sharpest he has felt.”

Beetson will go around in race 1 – the Allied Express Pace – at 5:23pm local time on Saturday night.