EMERGING jumping star Ablaze took his record to three wins from three jumps starts in winning an open steeplechase over 3230 metres at Warrnambool on Friday.
Ablaze defeated his stablemate Bit Of A Lad by nearly five lengths with Lucques in third place in the $50,000 race.
Trainer Ciaron Maher said Ablaze will now be set for a start in the $350,000 Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase on May 7.
"I've got to give all the credit to the team at our Ballarat stable," he said.
"They have done a marvellous job with Ablaze. He's a good jumper a good stayer and is very agile which is a bonus for jumpers.
"He had won two hurdle races impressively before his steeplechase win. We always knew he would be a good 'chaser.
"We've had a good wrap on Ablaze since we got him from New Zealand. He's won six of his eight starts for us.
"The Grand Annual is the race that we've had in mind for Ablaze. He was going to go to Oakbank at Easter but now there off I think we'll give Ablaze two steeplechase trials to have him ready for the Annual."
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Bit Of A Lad ran fourth in last year's Grand Annual Steeplechase and Maher said the six-year-old will be aimed at the race again this year.
"I thought it was a good run by Bit Of A Lad," he said.
"He was slow into stride and needed the run. He'll gain a lot from that effort. I'll just have to find suitable races to have him ready for the Annual."
Warrnambool based jumps jockey Shane Jackson won two of the three jumps races.
He was successful on Ablaze and the Gai Waterhouse - Adrian Bott trained Runaway in a maiden hurdle.
Runaway's last win was in the 2018 Geelong Cup before running 19th in the Melbourne Cup behind Cross Counter. New Zealand visitor Woodsman won the other jumps race on the program.
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