CLASSY steeplechaser Man Of Class showed he has recovered from a tendon injury when he won a $35,000 open steeplechase at Sandown yesterday.
Man Of Class defeated Gravitas by more than two lengths, with Rabbuka in third place in the 3300-metre race.
The nine-year-old was having his first jumps start since he won the Grand National Steeplechase at Sandown in August 2011.
The Ciaron Maher-trained galloper will now head to Oakbank at Easter to run in the Von Doussa Steeplechase or the Great Eastern Steeplechase before going to Warrnambool for the Grand Annual Steeplechase on Thursday, May 2.
Maher said Man Of Class appreciated the dry track conditions at Sandown.
“He’s a duffer on wet tracks. He loves being on top of the ground that’s why we got him into work so early,” he said. “He had a slight tendon strain to his near foreleg but he’s over that now.
“His tendon is excellent as we’ve put plenty of miles into his legs.
“We’ll run in the Von Doussa on Easter Saturday and may back up in the Great Eastern on Easter Monday.
“We’ll see how he pulls up after the Von Doussa before looking at the Great Eastern.
“I reckon he’ll be very competitive in the Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase if he gets conditions that suit.”
Champion jumps jockey Steven Pateman, who had the winning ride on Man Of Class yesterday, said the horse hit a flat spot during the race.
“But once he got going he was just going to be too good for his rivals,” Pateman said after the race.
Man Of Class took his stakemoney earnings to more than $305,000 when he picked up $21,000 for yesterday’s victory.