A JUMPER with strong south-west connections thwarted Bashboy’s attempt to win a record-breaking third consecutive Grand Annual Steeplechase (4500m) yesterday at Sandown.
The Kathryn Durden-trained Wells ($7), part-owned by Warrnambool’s Martin Kavanagh and Nick Rule, Wannon MP Dan Tehan and Casterton’s Geoff Cain, outsprinted Bashboy ($2.05 fav) at the end of the $250,000 race to score by six lengths.
Kavanagh said Wells’ win was a great thrill for the owners of the six-year-old.
“It’s just a great result,” Kavanagh said. “We’ve got to give a lot of credit to our trainer Kathyrn Durden and her husband, former champion jumps jockey Craig. They have been very patient with the horse.
“The win is especially special for Nick and me as we were fortunate to be in the ownership of Megapixel when he won the 2012 Australian Steeplechase. It’s wonderful to be in the ownership of two horses that have won two of the feature jumps races.”
Bashboy lumped 74.5kg but his trainer Ciaron Maher played down the weight difference of nine kilograms which Wells received from the 10-year-old.
“It was a great run by Bashboy,” Maher said.
“It was a shame he never won but we can’t complain; he lost no fans with that performance. He was very gallant. Bashboy gave 100 per cent with that weight. Wells was just too good for us.”
Maythehorsebemagic, trained by Warrnambool’s Jarrod McLean and ridden by his brother, Brad, finished fourth in the final feature jumps race for the 2014 season.