CIARON Maher praised the ride of Warrnambool-based jumps jockey Shane Jackson and the staff at his Ballarat stable after Bit Of A Lad scored a gutsy victory in the Australian Steeplechase at Sandown on Sunday.
Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace was track-side to see Bit Of A Lad score an eight-length victory over Shamal and Undergroundfighter in the $100,000 race.
"I would say Shane's ride won the race for Bit Of A Lad," Maher told The Standard.
"It was a clever ride. Shane knew he was riding a rock hard fit horse. I've got to give a lot of credit to the staff at Ballarat.
"It was a great effort by them to have Bit Of A Lad ready to drop back from the 5500 metres of the Grand Annual to the 3900 metres of the Australian."
Jackson joined forces with the Maher-Eustace stable to win the Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase with Ablaze on May 7.
New Zealand bred jumper Gobstopper captured his second jumps feature within weeks for Eric Musgrove when the seven-year-old won the Australian Hurdle.
Gobstopper took out the Galleywood Hurdle at the revamped Warrnambool Carnival earlier this month and his victory in the Australian gave Musgrove his fourth victory in the major jumps race.
Gobstopper defeated Runaway by nearly three lengths with Robbie's Star in third spot.
Second-seasoned jumper Flying Agent, aided by a top ride by Lee Horner, won the restricted hurdle.
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