CHAMPION jumps jockey Steve Pateman put weeks of weight frustrations behind him to win the two feature jumps races and a maiden hurdle at Warrnambool yesterday.
Pateman, 31, who can only ride horses handicapped at 68 kilograms or above, guided the classy Bashboy to an effortless victory in the $100,000 Thackeray Steeplechase over 3470 metres.
He rode Sea King to victory in the $100,000 Lafferty Hurdle (3470m), while his winning streak started aboard Moudre in the $20,000 maiden hurdle (3200m).
“It’s been a frustrating six weeks because of the weight restrictions on me but it’s great to come here and ride the three jumps winners for my biggest supporters Patrick Payne and Ciaron Maher,” Pateman said.
“It’s very rewarding to win races for those top trainers. I just love riding in jumps races at Warrnambool. It’s a great course.
“I’ve got to acknowledge all the hard work which the Warrnambool Racing Club has put in to stage the meeting. I really doubted we would run after all the heavy rain.”
Bashboy showed he had recovered from a cardiac arrhythmia which forced him to be retired from the Mosstrooper Steeplechase at his last run to win back-to-back Thackeray Steeplechases.
Maher said the 10-year-old would be aimed at the Grand National Steeplechase on July 27.
“Bashboy is a champion steeplechaser. He’s the best jumper that I have trained. I thought he might have been a bit vulnerable today because he had missed a couple of runs but he was just too good,” he said. “He will strip a stronger horse in the Grand National.”
Patrick Payne notched up another feature when Sea King won the $100,000 Kevin Lafferty Hurdle.
Sea King was sent to Payne by top Kiwi trainer Kevin Myers last week with feature jumps races on his agenda.
Payne has had a stellar jumping season, winning the Grand Annual Steeplechase with Chaparro in May.
He also collected the Great Eastern with Lord Of The Song and the Australian Steeplechase with Krase, but played down his involvement in the win of Sea King.
“Kevin (Myers) did all the work with the horse. He’s an erratic sort of jumper but he’s got a big engine,” he said.
“He’ll probably go to the Grand National Hurdle next time.”
Moudre, trained by Maher, won his first race for nearly four years in the maiden hurdle after an unlucky second placing at his jumping debut at Bendigo two weeks ago.
The eight-year-old saluted in the group 3 Queens Cup at the 2010 Spring Carnival but injured a tendon and spent 18 months on the sidelines before returning last spring.
“I’ve always known Moudre would make a handy jumper,” Maher said. “We’ll take him home and see how he pulls up. We might take him to the Grand National Hurdle in two weeks’ time for his next run.”