Patrick Payne and his talented jumper Zed Em will return to Oakbank this weekend as they look to complete the famous Oakbank Steeplechase double once again.
Zed Em was the first horse to complete the Von Doussa/Great Eastern Steeplechase double since Tobouggie Nights back in 2012. While the Von Doussa and Great Eastern are now separated by a two weeks instead of two days, it’s still a massive effort for any horse to win two of Australia’s great jumps races back to back.
Zed Em is undefeated at Oakbank and is shooting for his hat trick of wins in the Von Doussa after claiming both the 2017 & 2018 editions of the race. He’ll be partnered by Payne’s second jumper, Ours in the feature. An accomplished jumper back in New Zealand, Ours is in some good form both on the flat and over the jumps.
If there’s one man who knows a thing or two about winning a Von Doussa Steeplechase it’s Eric Musgrove. The master jumps trainer has 13 Von Doussa victories to his name. He collected his first one 33 years ago in 1986 and has been a dominant force at the Oakbank Carnival since. He saddles up two chances on Sunday including the accomplished Zataglio and Transcript. Zataglio has won eight jumps races in his career and with a serious weight swing on Ours from their last start, has to be a serious chance for the Jumps legend.
The only locally trained runner, Spying on You has been building fitness over the flats over the last four starts and will be looking to improve on his last two outings in the Von Doussa, running fourth in both the 2016 & 2018 editions. The 2017 Great Eastern Steeplechase winner simply cannot be written off in his backyard and is likely to have a heap of local support for him at the track on Sunday.
Symon Wilde’s Doc Holliday is a relative newcomer the jumping world but has looked pretty accomplished over the sticks in his four career starts. The experienced Paul Hamblin takes the sit on the six-year-old for the first time and he should have no problems getting the 3200m trip at all, with a win over the same distance to his name on the flat.