2016 SA Grand National Hurdle and Steeplechase Review

SA Grand National Day saw jumps racing return to Morphettville on 11 June 2016 with a larger than average winter crowd in attendance.

The SA Grand National Hurdle was the first event on the card where Twin Tea Bags settled in front from Compelled then Honey Steel’s Gold followed by Buymebychance and Earthbound. By the second jump Twin Tea Bags was going well in front from Honey Steel’s Gold, then a break to Compelled and Buymebychance followed by Earthbound. Into the straight the first time, Twin Tea Bags led with his ears pricked and jumped both obstacles well from Honey Steel’s Gold & Buymebychance, then Earthbound and Compelled. Over the jump with 1200m to go Twin Tea Bags was under pressure from Honey Steel’s Gold then a gap to Earthbound making ground from Buymebychance, then a break to Compelled who was jumping well but losing ground in the wet conditions. Over the third last Twin Tea Bags made a mistake and started to lose ground as Honey Steel’s Gold went to the front from Earthbound who was chasing hard, followed by Twin Tea Bags ahead of Buymebychance. In the straight, Honey Steel’s Gold was well clear and jumped the last two well for a first season jumper, coming away to win as he liked from Earthbound who tried hard but couldn’t make ground on the wet track, with the SA-trained Buymebychance running on for third ahead of Twin Tea Bags then Compelled. Twin Tea Bags was dismounted and led back by the clerk of the course and was found to have a slower recovery than normal (something which several other distance horses on the day in the wet conditions), while Compelled will be required to trial over jumps after struggling to remain with the pack with both actions showing safety for the horses’ future wellbeing.

Honey Steel’s Gold is by Keep the Faith from Lunar Lights and is trained by David Hayes & Tom Dabernig. He was ridden by Tom Ryan. Honey Steel’s Gold started his career as a late 2yo and completed that preparation winning at Cranbourne and then winning the Listed Gibson Carmichael Stakes at Flemington both over 1600m. As an early 3yo he was 4th in the Norman Robinson Stakes before being unplaced in the VRC Derby while in the autumn he won over 1800m before several runs leading up to a second place in the VRC St Leger then an unplaced run in the SA Derby. He only had a handful of well-spaced unplaced efforts as a 4yo before a third first up in August 15 at Ballarat as a 5yo. His best effort for the spring was a third at Pakenham in 8 starts before a spell. Honey Steel’s Gold started his latest campaign with several hurdle trials before running third at his debut at Warrnambool. Two weeks later he was then second in a Maiden Hurdle at Ballarat before his run today.

SA Grand National Hurdle | Honey Steel's Gold
Honey Steel’s Gold, ridden by Tom Ryan, on their way to victory in the 2016 Grand National Hurdle at Morphettville (Image credit: Jenny Barnes Photography)

The sun came out for race 3, the SA Grand National Steeplechase, where several runners were back in SA after campaigning at Oakbank and then heading across to Warrnambool in Victoria. Local jumping star Nishiazabu went straight to the early lead from King Triton & Zataglio, then Spying On You followed by Bold Zamour and Angelology. Little changed until the 1200m mark where Nishiazabu had a break on the field from King Triton then Zataglio, followed by Spying on You as Angelology started to make ground from Bold Zamour. Challenged over the fourth last by King Triton, Nishiazabu outjumped him and raced clear again as Zataglio joined King Triton from Spying on You and Angelology, with Bold Zamour starting to run on. Around the home turn, Nishiazabu was in front as Zataglio tried to give chase from Spying on You as Bold Zamour had a run close ahead of him and switched course back to the rail as Angelology tried to make ground wider around King Triton. Nishiazabu flew the second last and put a gap on the others again before coming to the last and taking off a tad early, but he was jumping so well he cleared the fence and charged for home from Zataglio and Spying on You trying to run on. They were followed by Bold Zamour with King Triton raising another effort, as Angelology made only an average effort over the second last and was retired from the event as he dropped out to last just before the last jump. Nishiazabu won by 7 lengths from Zataglio with Spying on You third and Bold Zamour 4th with South Australian jumpers taking 3 of the first 4 placings. Nishiazabu is from the stable of Kevin Frew and was ridden by Paul Hamlin.

Since his victory in the Von Doussa at Oakbank, Nishiazabu ran second in the Great Eastern Steeplechase before an unplaced flat run and a 4th in a steeple at Gawler. Given a short freshen up, he was midfield on the flat at Gawler before his run in the Grand National.

SA Grand National Steeplechase | Nishiazabu
Nishiazabu, ridden by Paul Hamblin, on their way to victory in the 2016 Grand National Steeplechase at Morphettville (Image credit: Jenny Barnes Photography)

(Race summary courtesy of Jumps Racing)

Race 1 3480m Grand National Hurdle

1st – Honey Steel’s Gold (Tom Ryan), David Hayes & Tom Dabernig

2nd – Earthbound (Steven Pateman), Eric Musgrove

3rd – Buymebychance (Paul Hamblin), Bill Smart

4th – Twin Tea Bags (Brad McLean), Darren Weir

5th – Compelled (Martin Kelly), Eric Musgrove

Click here for a replay of the race.

Race 3 3480m Grand National Steeplechase

1st – Nishiazabu (Paul Hamblin), Kevin & Heather Frew

2nd – Zataglio (Martin Kelly), Eric Musgrove

3rd – Spying on You (Shane Jackson), Grant Young

4th – Bold Zamour (Patrick Flood), John A. O’Connor

5th – King Triton (Tom Ryan), Pat Hyland

FF – Angelology (Steven Pateman), Patrick Payne

Click here for a replay of the race

Nishiazabu (Paul Hamblin) wins the 2016 Grand National Steeplechase at Morphettville on 11 June, from Zataglio (Martin Kelly) and Spying on You (Shane Jackson) (Image credit: SAJR)

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