Tims double brightens up raceday
A low-key midwinter raceday at Te Rapa last weekend turned into something special for one of the district’s long-standing racing families.
Wins by Trueman and Alvins Dream completed a double for the Tims brothers, Jack and Gary.
Winning races has been a family tradition for more than a century, back to the brothers’ grandfather Jack Tims, who had success in both equine racing codes.
And keeping with the same tradition, Tims senior was very much a hands-on horseman.
One of his most notable wins was with the standardbred Hughie Wallace, who he trained and drove to victory in the 1926 Waikato Trotting Cup.
Jack senior’s son Bill – the father of Jack, Gary and Brian – combined farming in the Peria Hills with a handful of racehorses, most of them jumpers.
All three of his sons rode as amateur riders as well as against the professionals, and it was Jack who did the honours for his father on Conkeda in the 1957 Wellington Steeplechase.
Gary included the amateur championship, the Duke of Gloucester Cup, in his tally riding Triple Count on the same Paeroa raceday that he also beat the professionals on Santa Keda in the Maramarua Hunt Cup.
The star of the Tims trio, however, was the youngest, Brian.
His string of wins included the 1975 Grand National Steeplechase on Fumbler and the 1976 Great Northern Steeple on Loch Linnhe.
Of the three brothers, Jack has shone as a trainer, preparing Ivan Bar to win 10 races in the late 1970s-early ‘80s, and the very best, Senator, to win the Auckland Cup and Waikato Cup in the 1995-96 season as well as finishing fourth in the 1996 Melbourne Cup.
Jack’s latest recruit is Trueman, but serious arthritis has forced him to hand training duties over to Ken and Bev Kelso.
The big bay finished second in his first start for the Kelsos and was very brave in his Te Rapa win, digging challenged over metres.
‘‘He’s my sort of horse with plenty of size about him,’’ says Jack. ‘‘My mate Grant Hill reckons I like to buy them by the pound, but he’s always been in proportion and the way he’s shaping up he could be alright.’’
Gary Tims, who has lived most deep when the final 250 of his adult life farming at Eureka, these days turns to his grandson Mark Forbes for training purposes.
Alvins Pride, who Gary races with his wife Caroline, good mate Ross McFarlane and Mark’s former jockey brother Alex, likewise shapes as one to keep the Tims name to the fore in ownership ranks.
Trueman completes a Te Rapa double for the Tims brothers as he fights off his challengers.