|Brett Scott reaffirmed
his position as Australasias premier jumps jockey by treating racegoers to a
faultless riding display in winning yesterdays $202,000 Cleanevent Grand National
Steeple (4700m) at Flemington aboard Crafty Dancer.
trainer John Wheeler was stuck for the right words to use when describing the ride by his
Mornington based stable foreman and jockey.
"What a sensational ride," Wheeler said of
Scotts handling of Crafty Dancer, which gave the popular New Zealand based trained
his first success in the Grand National Steeple.
"Ive only ever had one other runner and that was
St. Steven who fell last year," Wheeler recalled. "So to win it for the first
time is a great thrill."
Plans for Crafty Dancer after the Grand National Steeple
were not planned before yesterdays big race, but it may not necessarily include the
"He could go to the
Hiskens, but we really had not made any future plans until after todays race,"
Wheeler said. "I think Ive already got a horse that can win the race, so he
might even go for a break," he added referring to St. Steven.
Wheeler said he was confident the best of Crafty Dancer was
still to come and he was keen for the gelding to run in the Nakayama Grand Jump, won this
year by stablemate St Steven, in 2003.
"This horse (Crafty Dancer) is right up there with St.
Steven," Wheeler said. "Hes an exciting jumper and hes only going to
be better in twelve months time."
Owned by a syndicate from the Taranaki Racing Club in New
Zealand, Crafty Dancer a $20,000 bargain buy stalked the leaders in fourth place for much
of the race before finding a run between Leading Bounty and Chibuli at the top of the
straight. After gaining the run Scott was able to boot Crafty Dancer clear of his rivals
and hold on for a comfortable two length win.
It was Crafty Dancers second win at his past three
starts and the success completed the Australian and Grand National Steeple double.
Brett Scott said he couldnt have asked for a better
run during the race.
"Everything turned out perfect out there," he said.
"We got a lovely run and then the gaps just kept appearing. The speed was good with
Chibuli making the race genuine and I was more than pleased with the run I was
"After sitting in fourth place and getting the run
between runners and hitting the front the rest was basically history," Scott adeed.
Built Him, with Martin Mills up, chased hard over the
concluding stages but was unable to peg back the break established by Crafty Dancer.
Corkers Boy and Craig Durden were a further two and three quarter lengths away in
Hibernian Prince, who was always back toward the rear, made
some good late ground to finish fourth.
The $4.20 favourite Chibuli, who had led throughout, looked
like giving Crafty Dancer a run for his money before crashing heavily at the second last
Bone Jolter, a 40/1 outsider, was pulled up out of the race
after suffering a bleeding attack.
PICS - Quentin