Champion jumper Black And Bent has made a record-breaking return to the hurdles at Sandown today, claiming an incredible 10th straight jumps victory.
By notching up his 10th consecutive win over the hurdles, the Robert Smerdon-trained gelding etched his name into the history books, becoming the first horse in Australian jumps history to achieve the feat.
It was the seven-year-old’s first jumps race since May last year when he injured a tendon winning the Galleywood Hurdle.
After easing him back into racing with four races on the flat, Smerdon clearly had the star jumper ready to go today.
Carrying the topweight of 69kg, Black And Bent settled beautifully in running before showing his class in the finish to defeat Xaar Best by nine lengths.
Top jumps jockey Steven Pateman was aboard for his return and declared he is “going better than ever” after the race.
“It’s great to be a part of the horse with history being made today,” Pateman said.
Smerdon told TVN it was a relief to have his star jumper back to his best after fears last year’s tendon injury may have ended his career.
“He’s come off the canvas. I thought last year when he went amiss with that tendon injury for the second time, that’s his career, he’s equalled the record and that’s a great achievement,” Smerdon said.
“But now he’s done what he’s done and looks to be back for the season.”
Earlier in the day Peter Moody-trained gelding Macedonian made a successful jumps debut, winning the Robert Fitzgerald Memorial Hurdle by 20 lengths.