A True Champion
To this day, San Simeon holds the Australian record for the most consecutive wins, having won his first 29 race starts as a two year old, three year old and four year old. He recorded four wins at Group 1 level which include a WA Derby, Australian Derby and WA Pacing Cup. He was voted Australian 2 year old Pacer of the Year in 1979, Australian 3 year old Pacer of the Year in 1980 and Australian Harness Horse of the Year in 1981.
As an unbeaten two year old he recorded 10 wins which included the Golden Slipper Stakes and WA Triple Crown. In his next six starts as a three year old, he took out the WA Derby and Australian Derby. He then won his next 13 starts as a four year old, including the WA Pacing Cup and Inter Dominion Final. He returned as a five year old to win at his second 4 and 5 year old Championship and later represented Australia in the 1982 World Cup in the USA.
The horse was owned by the Porter family at Milson Lodge in Armadale, where Lou Austin was their private trainer and stud master. Austin had a close relationship with San Simeon. He had helped deliver the foal in 1976 and after breaking in the colt, the two became inseparable.
The victories had begun easily but in 1979 disaster loomed when San Simeon contracted a mystery ailment and almost died. The horse hardly ate a scrap of feed for three weeks, but Austin believed the horse had the will to survive. He also recalled, “When San Simeon broke the State Record for the number of wins it suddenly hit me. The Australian Record became a reality and not a dream.” The champion pacer broke the Australian record on 12 December 1980 with his 25th consecutive win and on 7 March 1981 recorded his 29th consecutive win.
An Exciting Journey
When San Simeon won the 1981 WA Pacing Cup, it was his 28th consecutive win. Lou Austin described his victory as, “One of the biggest thrills I’ve ever had in my life.”