Beetson is back and on the pace

Beetson on track, driven by Mat Rue. Photo by Ashlea Brennan.
Beetson on track, driven by Mat Rue. Photo by Ashlea Brennan.

A local pacer has chalked up his 40th win - nine years after he stormed into the harness racing scene with a Bathurst Gold Crown win.

Beetson, owned by Rod and Debbie Wenning in partnership with trainer Peter Trevor-Jones, has come out of retirement to record two wins from two starts at Wagga Wagga and Bankstown.

Debbie says the team thought injury at age 10 had ended the career of "the war horse" after a trio of wins in 2018.

But he's back in the game, and in fine form.

"He's a bit of a legend," Debbie smiles. "People just love watching him race."

Trainer Trevor-Jones had returned Beetson to the paddock last year, but he wasn't happy there.

"He wanted to be in training, he just loves it," Debbie said.

"He was carrying on like a two-year-old, so I thought, what the heck," Trevor-Jones told the Western Advocate. "I put some shoes on him and I'd see how he'd end up. He's working as good as ever."

Beetson made a mighty return in Wagga Wagga, winning in a photo finish from barrier seven.

He started like a house on fire and stormed up to the front, coming across from his wide position to be a fighting position for the lead with Red River Glacier ($13).

As the race progressed, the 11-year-old seemed to drift down the pecking order. But the Bathurst hopeful wasn't going to give up and at the bell he was fourth, two back on the outside and the run was favouring him.

Driver Cameron Hart kept Beetson in the same position at the bell, conserving the veteran's energy for the home stretch, and it paid dividends.

It was a massive finish, with four horses trying to poke themselves ahead for the win, Beetson running four wide.

In the end it was Beetson who won, ahead of Share The Road and Just Knew ($26).

"I was very emotional when his number was put up (after a photo finish)," Trevor-Jones said.

"He was never going to win until he popped that big head out on the line, keeping us all waiting.

"It was a pretty good win, no fluke about it. He did a whole heap of work before it."

The Wennings, and many of the mighty veterans' fans, were also thrilled. He'd been backed to $6.50 against a $1.18 favourite.

Beetson again drew the tough barrier six in Bankstown, but he headed for the front and stuck at it with Lachie Manzelmann holding the reins.

What's next for him? It's hard to say as his outstanding career, which includes a Canola Cup and a Carousel win, makes it hard to find the right races for him.

But the Wenning stud continues to produce promising pacers. Beetson's half brother Ominous Warning was a mighty chance in last year's Canola Cup, and will be making a return to racing soon.

I'm All Courage, Misdemeanor and Standandeliver are other names to watch for.

Harness racing returns to Forbes with a series of local memorial races on Thursday, Anzac Day, with our Carnival of Cups meeting scheduled for Sunday May 5.