Jackfrost back with sights on Aust jumps

Star southerner Jackfrost will take his first step towards an Australian campaign in race 6 at Riverton today.

The Grand National and Great Northern Hurdle-winning grey will line up in rating 72 company over 1400m for rider Jacob Lowry.

The race will serve as a stepping stone towards some of Australia's best winter jumping races.

Trainers Brian and Shane Anderton have Victorian features such as the Crisp Steeplechase and the Grand National Steeplechase as possible targets for Jackfrost.

The finer details of the horse's Australian trip are still to be decided. They will depend, firstly, on him qualifying for steeplechase racing in New Zealand.

"We have three races lined up for him in Australia at this stage of it, but we have to get there and get qualified," Brian Anderton said.

Travel arrangements and finding a base for the horse in Victoria need to be sorted.

Jackfrost also has to get through his first-up hit-out today.

He has shown good flat-race form between his hurdle races in the past two seasons.

However, none of those runs have been as short as 1400m.

"So long as he is running on and has a good blow after the race, we will be happy," Anderton said.

Jackfrost will go into today's event in excellent order after thriving during his break after winning the Great Northern Hurdles last September.

"He looks magnificent. He has put weight on and he has matured a lot more. So, I am pretty happy with him, really."

Another leading southern jumper will also step out in a flat race in preparation for jumping races.

Grand National Steeplechase runner-up Tai Ho will have his second start of the jumping season in high-weight company in race 2.

Tai Ho's regular rider, Stuart Higgins, will ride the horse's stablemate Smokem Up, who looks a strong winning chance in the 2147m event.

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