Lord ready to leap into Oakbank record books

Zed Em leads the field in the Von Doussa Steeplechase. Picture: Tait Schmaal

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JARROD McLean believes Lord Of The Song is primed and ready to deliver another peak Great Eastern performance as the veteran jumper chases a piece of Oakbank history on Monday.

Lord Of The Song won the Great Eastern Steeplechase in both 2014 and 2015 before finishing third to Thubiaan in last year’s edition of the state’s premier jumps race when prepared by top trainer Patrick Payne.

The 11-year-old gelding, who has since joined the Yangery stables of the astute McLean, showed he had lost none of his zest for jumps racing when second in Saturday’s Von Doussa Steeplechase, beaten less than a length by the Payne-trained Zed Em.

Zed Em is the $2.80 favourite with UBET for Monday’s $160,000 Great Eastern, narrowly in advance of Lord Of The Song ($3).

Payne, however, indicated after Saturday’s win that Zed Em may not run in the 4950m feature and could instead be saved for next month’s Brierly Steeple at Warrnambool.

“If Zed Em doesn’t run, Lord Of The Song will be favourite in the race and a deserved favourite,” McLean said.

“He’s had a perfect preparation for it.

“He’s never going to get any quicker … but he’s lovely and sound and in good order.

“I know he’ll run as well as he can. It’ll depend on his opposition.”

McLean said he had been thrilled with Lord Of The Song’s Von Doussa effort and the horse appeared to have recovered well.

“He’s pulled up terrific,” he said.

“I thought he was in good order but we were a little wary that he’d become quite dour in the weeks leading up to it. That’ll stand him in good stead for the Great Eastern, though.”

Murray Bridge trainer Kevin Frew said jockey Paul Hamblin had been glowing in his assessment of leading local hope Nishiazabu’s Von Doussa third placing.

“Paul said last night it was as good a lead-up as he’s ever ridden. That’ll do me,” Frew said.

“He pulled up great, too. We took him to the beach this morning and spent an hour in the water.

“I think I took the edge off him going two laps at the trials last Monday. But he should be spot-on for the Great Eastern.

“A little bit depends on whether Zed Em runs.”

Fellow Murray Bridge horseman Grant Young said Spying On You, the only other South Australian horse in the Great Eastern, had pleased him on the training track.

“He’s excellent. He trialled very well on Monday and came through it really well. I can’t fault him,” Young said.

“He’s very consistent. We know what we’re going to get when we send him to the track.

“I reckon he’s been looking for more ground … and I think we did the right thing by not racing him on Saturday.”

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Originally published as Lord ready to leap into Oakbank record books

SOURCE: newsnow sport