Pateman and Foote on the Northern trail

Amanood Lad (Steve Pateman) on his way to his second McGregor Grant Steeplechase win. (Photo: Trish Dunell/ NZ Racing Desk).

Amanood Lad (Steve Pateman) on his way to his second McGregor Grant Steeplechase win. (Photo: Trish Dunell/ NZ Racing Desk).

Steve Pateman is about to begin his quest to add Ellerslie’s biggest jumping prize to his CV.

The champion Australian jumps jockey is desperate to win the Great Northern Steeplechase and, with that goal firmly in mind, he will be in Auckland on Monday to continue his association with top Cambridge jumper Amanood Lad.

Pateman was placed aboard the Ben Foote-trained gelding in last year’s Great Northern and he will be reunited with the rising 12-year-old in the Electrolux McGregor Grant Steeplechase with a view to again partnering him in the September feature.

“I’ve heard he is going well and Ben is very happy with him,” said Pateman. “It would be quite an achievement for Ben to win three McGregor Grants with the horse so it’s full steam ahead.”

Pateman rode Amanood Lad to victory 12 months ago and Richard Cully was in the saddle in 2014.

“He’s a really, really good jumper and particularly at Ellerslie – he’s a quality horse,” he said.

Pateman has gone close to realising his dream of winning the Great Northern and is desperate to add the event to his vast collection of prestige jumping titles.

“It’s unique and, while I understand it’s a hard race for an Australian-based jockey, it remains one of my career goals to win it,” he said.

“I’ve finished second on Tobouggie Nights and third on Amanood Lad last year. I’ll be doing all I can to get one.”

Pateman has also been booked by trainer Stephen Ralph to ride Thenamesbond in the K.S. Browne Hurdles, in which he will be keeping a close eye on the topweight Sea King, who is likely to cross the Tasman again this winter.

“I hear that’s the plan,” said Pateman. “He’s a very good horse, an Australian Grand National winner, and I watched him win the other day. It was a great performance.”

– NZ Racing Desk.