Copy That beat Self Assured into third place in the Race by Grins on Friday but with his placing  “Jimmy”  won the race between them to $2m in stakemoney won.

His $100,000 third stake money takes him to $2,055,000 while Copy That’s $450,000 winning stake leaves him agonisingly close at $1,985,008.

Those stats underline not only how “JImmy” is one of the more underrated horses in our history but  how  remarkably consistent he has been on the road to riches.

Self Assured is just the third All Stars horse to top $2m in earnings after Lazarus and Smolda and very few other New Zealand-trained  horses have done it. Even though The Race has been a boon to current stars, his  overall stats are still staggering.

He has only had 53 starts (Copy That, 63) has won 32 and has been in the first three in 49 of them. Only the incomparable Lazarus, winner of $4.4m can top that having been in the first three in 49 of  51 starts.

Self Assured won the Queensland Derby in a brilliant Australian campaign at three when unbeaten in four starts at Albion Park, then returned at four to run second in the Bonanza and the Chariots of Fire to Aussie superstar Lochinvar Art after two exciting head to head renewals from their three year old days. He  didn’t blot his “first three” copybook until a Group 3 standing start Cup leadup at Addington in September 2020 when after an awful beginning  he tailed the nine strong field.

By November he had won the  NZ Cup. He later had a second to Copy That in the great race and added two Auckland Cups, an Easter Cup; the inaugural Race by Grins, the  NZ Free for All  and a long list of other features.

His few other  misses included a 5th in the 2021 New Zealand Cup, and a 7th in the Ashburton Flying Stakes last year (a race he had already posted a win and a second).

For a time last season Self Assured looked to have lost a little edge but like all grand campaigners  the class is permanent and his last two runs have underlined that. He could be listed a shade unlucky not to be closer on Friday being held up at a vital stage when Blair Orange was launching Copy That’s final charge.

Mark goes right back to Jimmy’s three year old days to recall the performance that really opened his eyes to his  potential.

“I knew he was good but that Queensland Derby win really impressed on me how far he might go”

‘He fought Lochinvar Art off twice, and won easily. I had to reassess his potential after a run like that.The Cup win was great too but by  then we really knew how good he was”

Self Assured led throughout and set a new all aged mile rate track record in the Derby one set the previous year not in the Derby but in the Blacks a Fake !

Jean has many memories of the richest horse she has raced by a margin though not all of them are quite perfect.

“The New Zealand Cup was very special but the problem was I couldn’t be there to see it “ Jean said referring to the Covid rules.

That  was especially harsh because next to buying and winning major races with her long list of top horses, Jean is most noted for the number of Trans Tasman trips she makes to watch them in action or just visit them in their paddocks.Its more than just the money for Jean Feiss

“The Race last year was a special thrill for me too. I was there for that”

Jean also likes to acknowledge the “Two Jimmies”, the horse and his constant attendant James Stephens.

“They are inseparable and James has played a big role in Self Assured’s career”

James is also noted for his contribution outside racing. After Self Assured had won his 2nd Auckland Cup his strapper showed that he was also a champion raising $2500 for Mental Health while running his first half-marathon. 

To be fair Jimmy (the strapper) would be the first to say he has a fairly easy task in that Jimmy (the horse) is one of the kindest of animals to whom nothing seems a bother either. A good combo.

Self Assured has more to offer but reaching $2m in stakes won is a rare feat and a richly deserved one.

A quiet achiever in some ways but still a great achiever. 

PIC: Jimmy the horse and Jimmy the stropper-both great money raisers !



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