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Harness Trainer/Driver Nominee: Jim Hand

Hall of Fame
Jim Hand

Hand twice trained the winner of the WA Pacing Cup with Solvista and Superman and went close on a number of other occasions with three runners-up and a third placegetter in addition to his wins.

One of his second placegetters was the mare Chic which Hand had famously offered for sale at WA Smiley’s Horse Bazaar ten days prior to the 1935 Cup when she finished second to Connie Glo.

Chic failed to sell and Hand collected a 200 pound cheque for her second placing in the Cup.

A week earlier Hand had sold his 1934 Cup winner Solvista at Smiley’s auction. He had purchased Solvista for 250 guineas from Norm Craven who had brought the horse to WA from Victoria. His win in 1934, with Jack Keys at the reins, was his sixth start for Hand and his fourth win and took his earnings for Hand to 940 pounds.

The 1935 WA Pacing Cup was the first race run as a straight out race since the inaugural Cup in 1913 and in 1935 a total of 19 horses faced the starter who used the rubber strand start for the first time in Cup history.

James Hand was the first trainer to have four runners in a WA Pacing Cup when he harnessed up Huon Cloud (2nd), Swift Lady (5th), Louis Again (12th) and Lee Tennessee 13th. A total of seven heats were run in 1942 and first and second in each heat qualified for the final.

It was to be a further 42 years before another trainer qualified four runners for a WA Pacing Cup. Fred R Kersley achieved the feat in the 1984 Cup with Aladdins Lamp, Rite, Gap Road and Treat Me Right.

Two of Jim Hand’s WA Pacing Cup runners-up in Earl Pronto and Chic were mated and produced the 1944 WA Pacing Cup winner Chico.

He achieved something similar in 1948 when he trained Superman to win the Cup. Superman was a son of Supertax which had been brought to WA for the 1940 Inter Dominion and remained here and made a reputation as a quality sire.

Supertax was trained by Hand for a period as was Superman’s dam Carnation Lou.

Hand’s last winner was Sir Joseph in September 1950 and he died shortly after.

When Superman finished 11th at 50/1 in the 1950 WA Pacing Cup he raced in the name of Hand’s estate.

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