Pateman confirmed for Amanood Lad

Amanood Lad (Craig Thornton) on his way to winning last year's Great Northern Steeplechase. (Photo: NZ Racing Desk).

Amanood Lad (Craig Thornton) on his way to winning last year’s Great Northern Steeplechase. (Photo: NZ Racing Desk).

Cambridge trainer Ben Foote has confirmed champion Australian jumps jockey Steven Pateman will ride Amanood Lad when the top ‘chaser resumes at Ellerslie on Monday.

Amanood Lad will shoot for consecutive wins in the McGregor Grant Steeplechase on route to his attempt to also win the Great Northern Steeplechase for the second time.

Pateman was able to have a good look at the top jumper last year when he finished runner-up behind him in the Great Northern Steeplechase on Tobouggie Nights.

“I’m quite happy with the horse and he will improve with the run, but Pateman will know to cuddle him up for as long as he can,” said Foote.

Amanood Lad showed his readiness to resume when producing a good display to win a 2700-metre jumping trial on his home track yesterday.

“He didn’t blow a match out after that and I know he hasn’t had a race this time in, but I’ve done a lot with him,” said Foote. “Another one put the pressure on him over the last three fences, but fell when he took off at the same time as our horse so it put a bit of pressure on him and made him work.”

Given a lack of match fitness, Foote has his fingers crossed for reasonable footing on Monday for Amanood Lad, who had two flat runs before his McGregor Grant victory 12 months ago.

“I’m just hoping the track will come back a little bit more to give us more of a chance,” he said.

“The Pakuranga Hunt Cup and the Northern will be the main targets again, but he won’t be going to Manawatu before them this year, maybe Hawke’s Bay. I haven’t decided at this stage.”

– NZ Racing Desk.