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New Zealand Racing News
Wednesday, July 19 2017

Star chaser Sea King has fallen foul of the rule that is supposed to ensure visiting jumpers are capable and well prepared when they arrive in Australia.

Sea King  - Peter Rubery Race Images

The rising 11-year-old is not permitted to attempt a third-consecutive victory in Sunday's Mosstrooper Steeplechase at Bendigo due to the rule that states that a Kiwi jumper must compete in either a steeplechase race or trial at home during the current campaign before they are allowed to run over the larger obstacles in Australia.

Sea King is expected to arrive in Melbourne on Wednesday night and will instead run in the $100,000 Brendan Dreschler Hurdle on the same card at Bendigo on Sunday.

Patrick Payne, who trained the horse to both Mosstrooper successes, said Sea King will race in the Dreschler in his Kiwi trainer Kevin Myers' name before he is again transferred to Payne, who will qualify him over the fences before he tackles the Crisp Steeplechase and Grand National Steeplechase.

He explained the situation where one of the best steeplechasers seen over the past few seasons is not qualified to attempt to win a race he has already won twice before.

"He's been running in hurdles in New Zealand so he didn't have a chance to qualify," Payne said on Wednesday.

"They called the races off the other day, so he missed the chance to qualify for this season so after this run (on Sunday) he'll qualify to run in steeples in the Crisp and The Grand National.

"If he'd run in a steeple in New Zealand this season, he doesn't need to trial, but he's only been running in hurdles so he's only qualified for hurdles.

"You could qualify with a steeple trial but there wasn't time."

Posted by: AT 12:11 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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