Star jumps jockey Steven Pateman is looking forward to extending Bashboy’s latest winning jumps record to seven when he steps out in the $250,000 Grand National Steeplechase (4500m) at Sportingbet Park Sandown in a fortnight.
The Ciaron Maher trained jumper scored easily over 3900m in taking out his second $100,000 Crisp Steeple at Sandown on Sunday and Pateman is adamant that the extra distance will be in his favour as he attempts to win back to back Grand Nationals.
“It was a good win today, he won very comfortably in the end and it’s onwards and upwards going forward,” Pateman said.
“The runner-up Cats Fun was always going to give a good kick having the soft run in front and he’ll be the one to beat again in the National but we held him off comfortably in the end.”
Pateman rode a patient race on Bashboy and held the nine year old together before letting him claim the lead at the final jump before running away for a three and a quarter lengths win over Cat’s Fun and Kirribilli Gold.
Last Sunday’s Steeple win was Bashboy’s eighth over the jumps and Maher is seriously considering an overseas campaign for his stellar performer if he can reproduce the winning effort in two weeks.
“I definitely am still considering it, Steve and myself both think he’s got what it takes,” Maher said.
“At the set weights today and back to Sandown he looked pretty well in and he’s been able to get the job done quite easily.
“He sort of stepped at one around the back and he jumped a couple a little bit short but that’s OK, you don’t mind that in these longer races.”
The Robert Smerdon trained Black And Bent defied history in winning his second $200,000 Grand National Hurdle (3900m) at Sportingbet Park Sandown, wrapping up a double for Pateman.
Black And Bent took out the Grand National two years ago and besides recovering from two tendon injuries, the seven year old, under 72 kgs, carried the most weight to victory since Cherry Jack lumped 73kgs in taking out the 1940 version.
“He was always off the bit and I was struggling to keep him in contact but these days he just wants to stay,” Pateman said.
“I just loved it how going into the race he was the underdog and champions are always champions.
“Robert Smerdon is an absolute master, it’s been an enormous training effort with all of his injuries and the horse has to do it tough these days with the weight.”