Dubbed the “Black Caviar of jumps”, champion hurdler Black And Bent can further cement his star status when he chases an 11th straight win over the fences at Bendigo on Sunday.
The seven-year-old heads an 11-horse field for the $100,000 Brendan Drechsler Hurdle (3200m) which will be his second jumps start this preparation.
Black And Bent captured racing headlines last month when he made a successful return from injury to break the Australian record for consecutive jumps wins when scoring his 10th straight in the Jack Dow Memorial Hurdle.
The Black Hawk gelding had a 2500m flat hit-out on June 8 to keep his fitness ticking over and is set for a mouth-watering clash with stablemate Brungle Cry.
Brungle Cry won last year’s Grand National Hurdle and in his last test over the fences he won the Galleywood Hurdle by eight lengths.
Trainer Robert Smerdon prepares both Black And Bent and Brungle Cry and said they are both fit and firing for this weekend’s clash.
“They are both in really good order and ready to go,” Smerdon told TVN.
Smerdon said champion jumps jockey Steve Pateman will ride Black And Bent while Tom Ryan will be aboard Brungle Cry.
Among those set to take on the star pair are Darren Weir’s eight-year-old Gotta Take Care, the Brett Scott-trained Dubhdara and Mark Stephenson’s mare Xaar best.