PROMISING jumper Beer Garden scored a bonus win for his connections when he won a $15,000 flat race at Warrnambool yesterday, according to his trainer Dan O’Sullivan.
Beer Garden defeated the Ciaron Maher-trained gallopers Campeao and Man Of Class in the 3087-metre race.
O’Sullivan said a hurdle school at Ballarat last Tuesday sharpened up the seven-year-old for the high-weight race.
“It’s good to win a flat race at this time of his campaign considering we’re aiming him at upcoming jumps races,” O’Sullivan said.
“I reckon putting him over a couple of hurdles last week helped him.
“Beer Garden is very fit. We had to have him in that sort of condition because we’re looking at some of the early jumping races with him over the next few months.”
Beer Garden stamped himself as a jumper with above average ability when he ran second to Brungle Cry in the Galleywood Hurdle at last year’s Warrnambool May Racing Carnival.
O’Sullivan is confident Beer Garden will improve on his six jumps starts last year.
“Jumps horses usually improve in their second season and he fits into that category,” O’Sullivan said.
“We’ll bring Beer Garden back to Warrnambool for the first hurdle race of the season on March 17 before looking at jumps races at Sandown, Oakbank and then back to Warrnambool for the May carnival.”
■ Meanwhile, Geelong trainer Nial Phillips was questioned by stewards at Warrnambool after Racing Victoria’s Compliance Assurance Team visited his stables yesterday morning.
The team questioned Phillips following their observations concerning Bellasinga.
Bellasinga led in the 1400-metre race before dropping out to finish more than 18 lengths behind Huit Dames. Vets reported Bellasinga pulled up lame after the race.
Phillips’ other starter, Land Ho Baby, ran seventh in a 1000-metre race. Samples were taken from both horses. Stewards adjourned their inquiry to a date to be fixed.