Monday, August 5

GUEST POST: Will Bashboy be the Next Australian to Tackle England?














Image: www.racingnetwork.com.au

Over recent years, there have been many Australian trained horses which have come over to race at Royal Ascot and some have experienced great success. Now, the Australians have an Australian Grand National winner which might be seen in the UK in winter 2014, although an appearance at Aintree in April in unlikely. 

The horse we are talking about is Bashboy, who made his name as one of the modern greats of Australian jumps after an amazing triumph in the Australian Grand National Steeplechase at Sandown Racecourse last weekend. The horse became the ninth in the race’s 150-plus year history to double up in the country’s main event, carrying top weight of 11-5 with jockey Steve Pateman. The race was the seventh consecutive win for Bashboy, who now has nothing left to prove. 

Although Pateman has described Bashboy as “the best horse he has ever ridden”, who would hold his own against the world’s best, he described why the horse may not be a perfect match for the UK Grand National. The Australian event is run over less than three miles, a mile and three-and-a-quarter furlongs shy of the Aintree event. Pateman said “The thing is the horse’s stamina. He would have done another 1,000 metres no worries, and that would suit him over there. It would be great to get over there and see how he jumps their fences and hopefully fly the flag for Australia.” 

The horse’s trainer, Ciaron Maher, is convinced that Bashboy has what is needed to make a success of himself overseas, and you can understand his views given the horse’s recent form. Maher commented after the race “Steve and myself have said he has the ability and the credentials to race over there (England). I suppose we will have to wait and see.” He went on, “We think he has the quality and some of the credentials you need to race over there. Steve has always held him in the highest regard and I’ll talk to the owners now, and discuss where we go with him.” 

Maher has acknowledged that there are several hurdles to overcome before making any firm plans. “There is just so much you don’t know. He would have to get there, and we’d have to see how he handled it, what sort of weight they gave him, what sort of races he’d be qualified for.” Some of that can be decided to help make the decision, but there is so much they will not know until they actually do it. 

Maher will be able to take advice from trainers who have taken horses over to the UK in the past, including Danny O’Brien and Peter Moody. Although he does enjoy the prospect of taking his horse over to the UK, the idea could well come to nothing, like a year ago when speculation was initially being fired around. 

Discussions with the horse’s owners are is sight and a decision will be made in the near future.

Simone Wright-Eddison is the content editor for www.grand-national.me.uk, the fifth most popular horse racing website in the United Kingdom according to Hitwise data. You can connect with Simone on her Grand National Facebook fan page.

 
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