Weighty test looms for Maher's champion jumper Bashboy

CHAMPION steeplechaser Bashboy will have to carry at least 74.5 kilograms if he is to win a record-breaking third Grand National Steeplechase at Sandown.

Racing Victoria jumps handicapper David Hegan told The Standard yesterday he was contemplating giving the Ciaron Maher-trained jumper 74.5kg for his history-making effort on July 27 but he hinted it could even be 75kg. 

“I will finalise the weights for the Grand National next Tuesday but at this stage it looks like he will be handicapped at 74.5kg,” Hegan said.

“I’ve still got to work some things out but who knows, it could be 75kg. 

“It’s a big weight but in my opinion he deserves the weight. He’s a champion jumper. 

“He came in well on the weights when he won his third Crisp Steeplechase last Sunday as it was a set weights and penalty race. 

“It’ll be a different story in the national as it’s a handicap race. There will be a big weight turnaround in the national for some of his rivals from the Crisp Steeplechase. 

“The tricky horse for me to weight is Sea King, who won the Grand National Hurdle. He’s trying to qualify for steeples at Cranbourne on Friday. My early draft has him in the weight range from 69 to 70kg.”

Maher said he thought 73.5kg was a fair weight for the 10-year-old to carry in the $200,000 race.

Bashboy, which has won 11 of his 14 jumps starts, carried 68.5kg to win his first Grand National in 2012. 

Last year he lumped 72.5kg to win the 4500-metre race,  which is run over 16 fences.

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