TRAINER Aaron Purcell will push ahead with plans to run former European jumper Dhaafer in the Grand National Hurdle and Grand National Steeplechase in July despite finishing seventh in the $100,000 Drechsler Hurdle over 3200 metres at Bendigo on Sunday.
Purcell said he was not disappointed by Dhaafer’s run on Sunday.
“The race was just too short for him,” he said. “He needs more ground. We knew that but we had to give him the run to prepare him for the nationals. He will appreciate tracks when they have a bit of give in them.
“He’s pulled up well. We will not be changing his program which we set out at the start of this jumps season.”
Purcell said Dhaafer would have his next start in the $100,000 Kevin Lafferty Hurdle over 3600 metres at Warrnambool on July 1 before running in the $250,000 Grand National Hurdle over 3900 metres at Sandown on July 15. His final run in this campaign is the $250,000 Grand National Steeplechase over 4500 metres at Sandown on July 29.
Dhaafer had won his two previous Australian runs before his failure on Sunday, including a 1700-metre flat run at the May Racing Carnival in Warrnambool.
Telesmon may make jumping debut at Casterton
HANDY middle-distance galloper Telesmon may make his jumping debut in a maiden hurdle at Casterton over 3200 metres this Sunday after winning a hurdle school at Warrnambool on Friday.
Telesmon, formerly trained by Sydney mentor Chris Waller, has had six flat races for Warrnambool trainer Matthew Williams.
“Telesmon has only put in one bad run for us and that was at Swan Hill and I’m not sure what happened to him on that occasion when he was disappointing,” Williams said.
“We’ve just forgotten that run. We’ve done a lot of schooling over the jumps with him. He’s just kept on improving with each school. In his early schools Braidon Small (jockey) held him back but we’ve changed that now. We just let him bowl along and he seems to appreciate being ridden like that.”
Williams said if Telesmon didn’t line up at Casterton on Sunday he would run in a maiden hurdle at Warrnambool on Sunday, July 1.
Meanwhile, Williams said his last Sandown winner Luckyi’mbarefoot would have his next start in the seventh heat of the winter championship at Warrnambool on July 1.
“We’ve pencilled in a start in the $40,000 heat of the winter championship before looking at the final of the series at Flemington on July 7,” he said. “The final carries stakemoney of $150,000 so it’s a great race to run in.”
Auction for injured jockey Louise Cooper
MORE than 100 items will go under the auctioneers hammer at a fund-raiser for injured jockey Louise Cooper at Warrnambool racecourse on Saturday, June 30.
Cooper, who had a race fall at Edenhope on March 24, is now paralysed from the chest down. She is the mother of two children — Jack, 4, and Sam, 19 months.
Auction co-organiser Matthew Williams said there was a wonderful range of items on offer, including accommodation packages, signed football jumpers and service fees to stallions.
“The generosity of people to donate such great items has been amazing but on the other hand it’s all for a special cause,” he said.
“We hope the funds from the night will help Louise and Matt (husband) make some necessary adjustments to their lives.
“I would say one of the highlights of the auction will be the framed autographed silks of Dunaden when he won the 2011 Melbourne Cup. They have been signed by the winning jockey Christoph Lemaire and the trainer Mikel Delzangles.” The auction starts at 7pm.
McLean to spell two top jumpers
YANGERY trainer Jarrod McLean has decided to spell his two top jumpers Big Jam and Cats Fun after they performed poorly in jumping races at Murray Bridge last week.
Big Jam ran sixth in a 3280-metre steeplechase, while Cats Fun failed to finish the course in a 3280- metre hurdle race.
McLean said both horses peaked for the Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase.
“They both deserve a break,” McLean said. “Big Jam ran in the Great Eastern Steeplechase at Oakbank and the Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase. He had been up a while.
“Cats Fun ran a great race in the Grand Annual and we decided to give him one more run but they are both in the paddock now.”
Run Diego will have next start at Warrnambool
LIGHTLY-raced Warrnambool galloper Run Diego will have his next start in a 0-69 restricted race over 1400 metres at Warrnambool on July 1, according to his trainer Allan Peterson.
Run Diego took his record to two wins from 10 starts when successful at Warrnambool last week.
Peterson said he was undecided whether former Colac jockey Ryan Maloney would ride the four-year-old at Warrnambool next month.
“Ryan has an excellent record on the horse,” he said. “He’s had two wins and a third placing from three rides on the horse,” Peterson said. “We’ll have to weigh up the option of putting a claiming apprentice on the horse because he will be asked to carry 60kg, plus a kilogram for the jockey’s vest.”
The former leading Warrnambool jockey purchased Run Diego as a yearling on the back of riding Sahaaran, the dam of Run Diego, when she was trained by Frank Byrne.
Homann returns to training and tastes success
FORMER Warrnambool trainer Andrew Homann is making every post a winner since he got his trainer’s licence back after two years on the sidelines.
Homann, who returned to training two months ago, saddled up the promising L’Esprit to win a restricted race over 1600 metres at Morphettville on Saturday.
“I would say potentially he’s the best horse that I’ve trained,” he said.
“I think once he matures he will develop into a real handy horse. He’ll measure up to better class than winning a winter race on a Saturday in Adelaide.”
Homann said he has put his two-year suspension behind him. “I got rubbed out on a high bicarbonate charge,” he said. “The suspension was a tough time for me. I had to do a lot of thinking. When I was out I did a lot of studying and thinking I knew how much I loved being involved in racing and when I was out I really missed it. I’m training down at Geelong now and I’ve got six horses in work.”
WHO TO FOLLOW:
CHRIS MUNCE: Melbourne Cup-winning jockey who keeps on riding winners in Queensland. Punters who back horses that Munce rides have to take a point or two less with the bookies but they should not worry as they are backing the best jockey in Queensland.
GERALD RYAN: Terang-raised Ryan is having a good run with his team. Ryan led in two winners at Rosehill on Saturday. He may not have the numbers which Chris Waller and Gai Waterhouse have in their stables but he still has a very good win ratio — particular with young horses.
PRINCE OBAMA: excellent run to finish third behind Verdasco at Flemington on Saturday. He’s ready to win again.
CLARE LINDOP: she’s had a quiet few weeks by her standards but was back in the winners’ stall at Morphettville on Saturday when she won on Light Express. The win may see her luck take a turn for the better.