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Four times retired … but ‘Jimmy’ still a force

Evergreen veteran Our Jimmy Johnstone put retirement plans on hold when he scored an all-the-way win in tonight’s $50,000 Group 2 James Brennan Memorial Pace (2536m) at Gloucester Park.

The 11-year-old, co-trained by Greg and Skye Bond, rated 1:55.9 and beat stablemate El Jacko ($4.20) by more than 2m while third placegetter Simba Bromac ($10) was a further 3m back.

Our Jimmy Johnstone ($6), who gave young reinsman Bailey McDonough his biggest win, broke a lengthy drought.

“He last won 15 months ago and had a 24-run losing sequence,” part-owner Rob Gartrell said. “I reckon it’s four or five times in the past year that we’ve agreed to retire him.

“But he’s a stable favourite and makes it clear he loves racing.

“Greg and Skye have decided to persist with him. Each time we’ve virtually finalised his retirement.

“We’re very proud of his win tonight and he’ll be kept racing for a while yet. But there won’t be summer carnival plans.

“He’ll compete only in races which suit him and his future will be assessed after each start.”

Our Jimmy Johnstone, imported from New Zealand as a cups hope several seasons ago, has won 14 Gloucester Park races. His career tally is 28 victories from 118 starts, and his stake money is nearing $700,000.

Earlier tonight, the Matthew Scott-trained Son Of A Tiger caused a boilover when he won the Rock N Roll World Pace (2130m) at $61 with TABtouch fixed odds and $36.20 on the totalisator.

He finished fast on the outside to defeat Carter Micheal ($11) by a neck and Extreme Prince ($19) finished almost 3m back in third place.

Son Of A Tiger had won two of his previous four starts, but many punters overlooked him when he drew gate nine tonight.

“This horse is a carnival prospect,” reinsman Shannon Suvaljko said. “He has big potential.”

Just Rockon Bye produced a courageous performance to grab a last-stride victory after racing outside pacemaker Hit It Rich in the Fly Like An Eagle Pace (2130m).

Trainer Gary Hall said Just Rockon Bye would be aimed at the $125,000 Group 1 Mares’ Classic (2536m) at Gloucester Park in December.

“She’s a class mare who should be hard to beat in the classic,” Hall said.

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