He did it as a jockey 17 years ago and on Monday, in the role of trainer, Grant Young was back in the Great Eastern Steeplechase winner’s enclosure after Spying On You ($16) won the 4950-metre jumps marathon at Oakbank.
With Irish expat Tom Ryan aboard, the seven-year-old gelding was well back in the early stages of the signature steeplechase on the South Australian racing calendar but came into his own late to beat the Cranbourne and Tony Rosolini-prepared Undergroundfighter ($18), with the Jarrod McLean-trained $2.60 favourite Lord of the Song third.
It was a big day for the Young family as the trainer’s wife, Lisa, manages the Racing Horses 2 syndicate, which races Spying On You.
Pates, Payne swoop
Earlier, champion jumps hoop Steven Pateman produced a masterful ride on Angelology to take out the Somerled Classic Hurdle (3600m).
The Patrick Payne-trained $2.60 favourite came from near the tail to score and will now be set for the Gallywood Hurdle at Warrnambool next month.
Thornton on fire
Jockey Damien Thornton was one of the stars of this year’s Oakbank carnival, riding Municipality to victory on Saturday and following up with a treble on Monday.
Thornton kicked off with the Tony McEvoy-trained first-starter My Bad ($6) in The Advertiser Two-Year-Old Maiden Plate (1050m), coming from last to win impressively.
Thornton then notched the first leg of a double for Grant Young with Spur On Gold ($4) in the Heat of the Jericho Cup (3600m).
Thornton completed his treble, and a double for Naracoorte horsewomen Sue Jaensch, when Knightoftheherealm ($8) came from better than midfield to take out the Channel 7 Country Cup over 1900 metres.
Jaensch had scored the first leg of her double when Have Another Glass ($2.70 favourite) brought up her fourth win a row in the Arkaba Hotel Handicap (1400m).
Murray Bridge trainer Michael Hickmott shared Monday’s training honours with Jaensch and Young with last-start winner Cayman Nites ($5) and unbeaten three-year-old Mulder ($4.20).
Anna Jordsjo and Shayne Cahill were the winning riders.
Doubles all round
Highlights of the first day included doubles to SA trainers Richard Jolly and Tony McEvoy, a riding double to Paul Gatt and the win of grand campaigner Riziz ($15) in the day’s feature on the flat, the listed Oakbank Stakes (1100m).
The win came four years after Riziz’s first Oakbank Stakes win.
The Ken Sweeney-trained eight-year-old now boasts 14 wins, eight of them at black-type level, and 18 placings from 55 starts, for prizemoney of $968,975.
Punters were on the ball in the day’s jumping feature, the Von Doussa Steeple (3250m), as the Patrick Payne-trained $2.40 favourite Zed Em got the money under Richard Cully.
Second was the formerly Payne-trained Lord of the Song, the dual Great Eastern winner who went on to frank the form by placing in the longer race on Monday.
Zed Em, a Kiwi-bred six-year-old by the Zabeel stallion Zed, should be hard to beat in the Brierly Steeple on the first day of the Warrnambool carnival.