VETERAN jumper King Of The Forest could skip the Oakbank jumping carnival at Easter to be saved for the Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase on May 2, according to his trainer David 'Butch' Londregan.
King Of The Forest, with Jarrod Lynch in the saddle, scored a long-head victory over the Patrick Payn-trained Ours in a restricted steeplechase to open the 2019-20 jumps season at Warrnambool on Thursday.
Londregan, who won the Grand Annual four times as a jockey, would love to win the famous jumps race as a trainer.
“The Annual is the race I want to win as a trainer,” he said.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have won the race as a jockey and it would cap off my career if King Of The Forest could do it.
"I think I would retire as a trainer if King Of The Forest was to win the Annual.
"It was a gutsy win today. I thought King Of The Forest would run well and it was a top ride by Jarrod.
"I’m not sure we’ll go to Oakbank with him. Oakbank is just too close to the Warrnambool carnival.
"I’m hoping the track is not a really heavy for the Warrnambool carnival as he does not appreciate those sort of conditions.”
A maiden hurdle was won by the Eric Musgrove-trained Lucques while Bit Of A Lad was successful in the restricted hurdle for the Ciaron Maher-David Eustace stable.
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