McLean in tune to claim second Great Eastern Steeplechase triumph

WEIGHT and injury worries have plagued Warrnambool jumps jockey Brad McLean during his career but the talented horseman showed his riding skills yesterday by winning the $160,000 Great Eastern Steeplechase on Lord Of The Song.

Brad McLean and Lord Of The Song put a big space on their rivals in the Great Eastern Steeplechase. Picture: GREG IRVINE

Brad McLean and Lord Of The Song put a big space on their rivals in the Great Eastern Steeplechase. Picture: GREG IRVINE

The Oakbank victory is McLean’s second in the feature race at the two-day jumps carnival. 

His previous was on the Ciaron Maher-trained Pentacolo in 2009.

Originally, McLean was booked to ride race favourite Jervois, but in a strange twist  ended up on Lord Of The Song after Jervois was scratched with a foot abscess.

Weight issues prevented champion jumps jockey Steve Pateman from riding Lord Of The Song.

The Patrick Payne-trained starter backed up in the Great Eastern after running fifth behind Palmero in the Von Doussa Steeplechase on Saturday. 

The eight-year-old defeated Rangatira by more than 20 lengths with It’s The Truth in third place in the 4950-metre race.

Payne, who won the 2012 Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase with Awakening Dream, might run Lord Of The Song in next Thursday’s Grand Annual.

“He’s had two runs over the weekend but he’s sound,” he said.

“I’ll take Lord Of The Song home and see how he is over the next few days. 

“I will not rule out a run in the Grand Annual at this stage. It was a very good ride by Brad. He had the horse well placed in the run before going for home,” he said.

“ It was bad luck that Steve could not take the ride. 

“I reckon he’s won five jumps races on the horse. He really understands him. Lord Of The Song can be a quirky horse to ride.”

McLean had considered  walking away from his successful jumps riding career more than 15 months ago when his weight ballooned while he recovered from two shoulder reconstructions. 

Find more May Racing Carnival coverage here 

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