CHAMPION jumps jockey Steven Pateman appears to hold a stranglehold on the $30,000 open steeplechase at Casterton on Sunday, saddling up three of the six acceptors.
But veteran Orford jumper Mannertone might spoil the party for Pateman’s jumpers.
Pateman, who holds a dual trainer-jockey license, can’t ride in the jumps feature.
He will call on the services of Tom Sadler, Paul Hamblin and Jarrod Lynch to guide Surging Wave, Aldous and Ebazan over the live hedges on the picturesque course.
Trainer Anne McGrath has booked three-kilogram-claiming jumps jockey Rob David to ride Mannertone in the second last steeplechase for the 2018 jumps season.
The 10-year-old was handicapped to carry 68.5kgs but with the claim Mannertone will carry 65.5kgs – only 1.5kg above the minimum weight for the race.
His record around Casterton is impressive, winning three of his eight starts plus two minor placings.
Surging Wave could be the best of Pateman’s chances.
Sadler’s 3kg claim will be a bonus for the eight-year-old who won this race last year on a very heavy track.
Jumps fans have a maiden and an open hurdle to watch on the nine-race program.