King of Dudes wins Grand National Hurdle at Warrnambool and sets sights on double at Ballarat   Leave a comment

King of Dudes wins Grand National Hurdle at Warrnambool and sets sights on double at Ballarat

“If he comes through that then he’ll be in the Grand National Steeplechase,” Purcell said.

King of Dudes ridden by Paul Gallagher (far left, purple and gold) is well back as they a

King of Dudes ridden by Paul Gallagher (far left, purple and gold) is well back as they approach the last hurdle on his way to victory in the Grand National Hurdle. Picture: Michael Klein Source: News Corp Australia

FORMER English jumper King Of Dudes scraped in with the Grand National Hurdle and will attempt to make it a Grand National double at Ballarat on July 26.

After his tough narrow win at Warrnambool, trainer Aaron Purcell said King Of Dudes would school over the fences and then run in the Grand National Steeplechase (4500m) on July 26.

If he can complete the double he will be the first horse since Mosstrooper in 1930 to do so.

King Of Dudes, the only local in the field, won a thrilling race by defeating dead-heaters Fieldmaster and Stand To Gain by a neck.

Purcell said he was thrilled when he heard the Grand National Hurdle was to be transferred from Sandown to Warrnambool.

Purcell purchased King Of Dudes in England two years ago after he had won two hurdles.

Purcell said his previous trainer Johnny Murtagh thought he wasn’t up to the top level and wanted to move him on.

Purcell bought him as a dual-purpose jumper and flat performer.

“Also he couldn’t handle the tracks in England as they were too heavy for him,” he said.

The win gave former Irish jumps jockey Paul Gallagher his biggest win in his career.

Gallagher came here three and a half years ago on the suggestion of his best mate Tom Ryan.

Gallagher had been riding in England where he had ridden 50 winners including victories at Cheltenham and Aintree but felt his opportunities were drying up and came to Australia for a fresh start.

Gallagher said he had been tracking Steve Pateman on Fieldmaster for the race but decided to come to the outside on turning when they stayed on the rails.

“I didn’t want to keep following him. I thought I’d switch around him and make our own luck with our lighter-weight,” he said.

Bashboy, ridden by Steven Pateman, jumps the last with a riderless Thubiaan on its way to

Bashboy, ridden by Steven Pateman, jumps the last with a riderless Thubiaan on its way to victory in the Crisp Steeple. Picture: Michael Klein Source: News Corp Australia

Meanwhile, champion fencer Bashboy bounced back from not completing the course in the Mosstrooper Steeple at Bendigo with a win in the Crisp Steeple.

The win was Bashboy’s fourth in a row in the Crisp Steeple, his seventh win at Warrnambool and his 13th jumps win from 18 starts.

His rider Steven Pateman, who won his fifth Crisp Steeple which includes all of Bashboy’s wins, said it was fitting that he won the race named after the star fencer of the 1970s.

“To me he’s the modern day equivalent of Crisp,” Pateman said.

Pateman said early in the race Bashboy was jumping a bit keenly but when Thubiann lost its rider Richard Eynon at the third jump said it woke him up.

“He made a mistake when Thubiann lost his rider and after that he jumped super. It was tough going out there but he loved the conditions and the further the better for him,” he said

Bashboy’s trainer Ciaron Maher described Pateman’s ride as brilliant.

“It was a super effort. He put in a couple of awkward ones early but then he started jumping better and Steve saved so much ground with his big weight,” Maher said.

Maher again couldn’t contain his delight with Bashboy’s win describing him “as just a great old horse.”

Maher said the 11-year-old only had four jumps starts each season which aided his longevity.

Bashboy held off Kiwi fencer Sea King who finished strongly.

Bashboy will attempt to win his third Grand National Steeplechase in a fortnight’s time at Ballarat.

He won the Grand National Steeplechase in 2012 and 2013 and finished second last year to Wells.

Both Thubiann (who went on to complete the race) and his jockey Richard Eynon escaped without injury.

Originally published as King of Dudes abides in Grand National

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Posted July 13, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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