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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Saturday, July 22 2017

Kiwi jumper Sea King might not have been permitted to attempt a third Mosstooper Steeplechase victory at Bendigo on Sunday but it didn’t matter, with the remarkable horse winning the feature hurdle race instead.

Sea King  - Race Images

The rising 11-year-old arrived in Melbourne just last week to the news that he was unable to run in the steeplechase because he had not trialled over the larger fences this season, but Sea King still made it three trips to Bendigo for three feature race wins after outstaying his rivals in the $100,000 Brendan Dreschler Hurdle.

In doing so, the magnificent steeplechaser revived memories of his Grand National Hurdle win in 2014.

His Australian trainer Patrick Payne was doubtful the horse would have enough zip to win over the smaller obstacles but Sea King was more than nimble enough to score a narrow win over Two Hats and Hornet’s Nest.

The race was expected to be dominated by the season’s most consistent hurdler Renew but the Darren Weir-trained import could not add to his season record of four hurdle runs for four wins as he started to feel the pinch a long way from home after taking up his usual role in front.

Starting at $2.30, Renew failed to beat a horse home and was some 36.2 lengths from Sea King.

Sea King’s jockey Brad McLean was full of praise for the horse he had ridden against but never partnered before.

‘’He’s just an old marvel,’’ he said of Sea King. ‘’It’s been a big ask for him with plenty of travel but he was never going to get beaten in the run. He was just awesome.

‘’I was very, very confident in the run. He did everything right and he switched off okay, but it was just the way he felt.

‘’I knew he’s be so tough late and he jumped the last two good and put the race to bed.’’

McLean said that he was so impressed with Sea King that he was hopeful of being retained as his rider when he next tackles the Crisp Steeplechase before the Grand National Steeplechase at Ballarat next month.

Posted by: AT 03:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email