Jackfrost passes first test of his Australian campaign with third in trial

PHOTO: ODT FILES
PHOTO: ODT FILES
North Taieri jumper Jackfrost passed the first official test of his Australian campaign earlier this week.

The Grand National and Great Northern Hurdle winner pleased those in his corner when finishing third behind star Australian jumper Wells in a trial at Cranbourne this week.

Leading rider Steve Pateman gave Jackfrost, who will race as Our Jackfrost in Victoria, a glowing report after the 2800m steeplechasing event.

"He gave me a great feel.

"That is his first time steeplechasing, he went really [well] - a bit of a mistake at the last, but that is why we are here trialling.

"He is a dude. I look forward to having a ride on him in a race."

Jackfrost's slight mistake at the last chance spoilt any chance of him catching the leader, Wells, who went on to win.

Pateman sat quietly on Jackfrost and the horse strode to the finishing line full of running.

The Brian and Shane Anderton-trained grey is likely to clash with Wells again in the main target on his Victorian venture in the Grand National Steeplechase at Ballarat, next month.

Wells will be aiming for his fourth win in the event after completing a hat-trick of victories in the 4500m feature between 2015 and 2017.

Pateman said confident Jackfrost would measure up in the event as he would relish its marathon distance.

"I have always watched him - he is a really good stayer. He does his best work after the last [fence].

"So, in a race like the Grand National Steeplechase, here, he would be a great contender."

Jackfrost will prepare for the event by having his first steeplechase outing at Pakenham later this month.

Shane Anderton will head to Victoria next week to oversee the horse's preparation for that race.

"Shane is away over on Friday and the horse will race at Pakenham," Brian Anderton said.

"After that he will decide whether he goes on to the Crisp Steeplechase, or he might even have another trial."

Courtney Barnes travelled to Victoria with Jackfrost and has overseen the horse's training since his arrival.

Brian Anderton said she has delivered positive reports about the horse since he landed.

"The travelling was the big worry, but he flew through that.

"Everything has gone very well and he ate up brilliantly after his trial - he didn't leave an oat."

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