Spying On You proved that age is no barrier last Saturday when he took out his second Great Eastern Steeplechase in what was the highlight of the Oakbank Racing Club’s three-day carnival at Oakbank last Saturday.
Now 11, the gelding had first won SA’s premier jumps race as a seven-year-old in 2017.
The Grant Young-trained veteran sprang something of an upset as a $5 chance in the five-horse field, using a six-kilo advantage to outlast $1.35 favourite Zed Em, who’d won the Great Eastern in 2018 and 2019, with Spying On You fourth and second respectively.
Spying On You gave jockey Tommy Ryan his fourth win of the carnival, following a treble the previous Sunday.
Competing in his final season Spying On You, will end his racing career in the Victorian Grand National Steeplechase at Ballarat later in the year.
Von Doussa thriller
It was a wonderful week of jumping at the historic Adelaide Hills course, with an earlier highlight the short-half-head win of the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Yensir over Zed Em in the 3250-metre Von Doussa Steeplechase on the Wednesday.
Zed Em started the $2.40 favourite in the Von Doussa, which he’d won in both 2018 and 2019 en route to his Great Eastern triumphs.
It was good to see the ORC committee reinstate the name of the Harry D. Young Hurdle (3600m), won last Saturday by the Symon Wilde-trained, Aussie-bred jumper Britannicus ($4.80).
For many years the race was known as the Classic Hurdle.
Britannicus, having his second run back from a spell, came from worse than midfield under Ronan Short to land his eighth success from 44 starts.
Trainer Travis Doudle extended his recent run of form with a popular double on the Easter Saturday card.
Casino Seventeen ($2.50 favourite) completed a hat-trick in the benchmark 68 over 1400 metres, then five-year-old Shocking gelding Analytica ($2.70 favourite) took out the Onkaparinga Cup (2150m). Kayla Crowther and Barend Vorster were the winning riders.
The double gave Doudle seven winners from his past 21 runners.
Vorster completed a double of his own when Charlton ($26) won the benchmark 72 handicap over 1900 metres for Port Augusta trainer Brenton Jones.
Jones is hoping Charlton will be good enough to contest the Port Augusta Cup in July.
Premiership leader Jess Eaton shared the riding honours with Vorster at Oakbank, winning on the Michael Hickmott-trained $2.70 favourite Reynolds in the three-year-old maiden plate over 1400 metres and the Mick Kluske-trained Going Gaga ($21) in the benchmark 68 over the same trip.
Byrnes breaks through
Congratulations to Murray Bridge-based Karen Byrnes on training her first stakes winner — Street Life in last Saturday’s listed Adelaide Hills Railway Stakes (1100m).
Street Life ($8.50) ran on from the back half under comeback jockey Emily Finnegan, who returned last month from eight months out with knee and shoulder injuries.
Street Life’s win was a second Oakbank major for Byrnes, who trained Brown Cast to win a Great Eastern Steeplechase in 1989.
Mother-and-son training partners Sue and Jason Jaensch took the points at last Sunday’s Penola Cup meeting with three winners including Cuban Toonite, who won the 1700-metre cup under apprentice Ben Price.
Bullet Kid and Miss Mosh were their other winners, ridden by Jeff Maund and Caitlin Jones respectively.
The cup win completed a double for Price, who’d earlier won a benchmark 62 over 1100 metres on Lancaster Sound for Sue Murphy.
Mt Gambier trainer Belinda O’Loughlin also got a double at Penola with Blueberry Boy and Runbro.
Local trainer Gary Searle took the honours at Gawler on Monday with a double, winning with Secret War and Winter Harbour.