I’ll’ava’alf and John Monash filled the first two placings for Warrnambool trainer Patrick Ryan in a restricted steeplechase at their home track on Thursday.
Ryan hopes they may quinella the $350,000 Grand National Steeplechase at Ballarat on Sunday week.
The New Zealand-bred I’ll’ava’alf, with apprentice jumps jockey Jarrod Lynch in the saddle, lumped 74.5kgs to defeat his stablemate John Monash on a heavy-rated track by more then five lengths with Mannertone back in third place.
“I’ll be having a chat with I’ll’ava’alf’s owners but I think they’ll want to go the Grand National Steeplechase,” Ryan said. “We’ll be putting in an entry for the National. I’ll’ava’alf is just a superior wet tracker. It was a top win with the big weight. I was impressed with the ride by Jarrod.
“I’m just hoping it’ll be a heavy track at Ballarat next week. I’ll’ava’alf’s had no luck at his two previous starts in the Grand National.
“We may even look at running him on the flat in the Jericho Cup at Warrnambool in December.”
Tommy Sadler scored his first victory as a jumps jockey when he rode the Brett Scott-trained Vysotsky to win a maiden hurdle.
Scott said Vysotsky would derive plenty of benefit out of the win over Firefree and Bold Bandit.
“I’ve always thought he would make it as a jumper,” the four-time Grand Annual Steeplechase-winning jockey said. “I firmly believe he’ll be a better steeplechaser.
“I think a race like the Brierly Steeplechase next year may be on the agenda.”
Warrnambool-based jockey Declan Bates and apprentice hoop Chelsea MacFarlane shared the riding honours, booting home two winners each.