Sandown win puts Palmero firmly on comeback trail

COMEBACK jumper Palmero will derive plenty of improvement from his victory in the $60,000 Great Southern Steeplechase at Sandown yesterday, its trainer Ciaron Maher says.

Palmero, under the guidance of Irish-born jumps jockey Tommy Ryan, defeated King Triton by more than six lengths in the 3300-metre steeplechase.

Cats Fun was third.

Maher, who has stables at Caulfield and Winslow, said Palmero made a couple of sticky jumps going up the Sandown hill but the eight-year-old recovered from the slight mishaps.

“Palmero was still a little fresh, but with that run under his belt hopefully he will be better next time,” Maher said.

“We’ll head over to Oakbank for the Von Doussa Steeplechase on Easter Saturday for his next run before running him in the Brierly Steeplechase at the Warrnambool May carnival.”

Palmero had more than a year away from racing after injuring a ligament in June 2012 but Maher said the galloper was now injury-free.

“He’s got no fitness concerns now. We put a lot of rehabilitation work into Palmero to get him right for this season,” he said. 

“He’s got a good record in jumps races and I’m sure he will improve on that this season.” Ryan gained a lucky pick-up ride on Palmero after champion jockey Steve Pateman didn’t make the 67 kilograms to ride the horse. 

The popular Irish hoop said Palmero’s two poor jumps woke him up as he jumped the remaining fences well. 

He added the horse would only improve as the season progressed. The Maher-trained Funded ran fourth in the Jack Dow Hurdle, the other feature jumping race on the Sandown card.

Richard Cully was in the saddle after Pateman could not fulfil that riding engagement. 

The hurdle was won by the 61/1 chance Platinum Snip.

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