By Michael Manley
On face value trainer Henry Dwyer’s effort to keep Riding High in work and racing successfully for the entire jumps season is a meritorious one but he’s not taking any of the credit for that.
On Sunday at Coleraine, Riding High took out the Great Western Steeplechase giving him his second feature jumps win for the year as in May he also won the Australian Steeplechase at Sandown Lakeside.
“It’s not me, it’s Riding High as he’s so tough. I could do the same preparation with eight horses, and it wouldn’t work but it does with him as he’s so tough,” Dwyer said.
“He’s by Raise The Flag and like Ablaze he can just keep turning up and running well. They have strong constitutions.” Dwyer said.
Dwyer said the jumps calendar was basically split into two seasons so after Riding High won the Australian Steeplechase he gave him a couple of runs on the flat to keep him ticking over.
He said he was setting Riding High for next month’s South Australian Grand National Steeplechase he decided he better race him at Coleraine.
Post the jumps season, Riding High would be sent for a spell and would come back next year and take on similar races.
He said the 4500 metres of Sunday week’s Ballarat Grand National Steeplechase was too far for Riding High and he would also be taking on a difficult race.
“3900 to 4000 metres pulls him up. Also, the Grand National Steeplechase looks like being a great race,” he said.
The Grand National Steeplechase could feature champion Kiwi Tallyho Twinkletoe taking on emerging star Social Element and last year’s winner Ablaze.
Dwyer said Riding High’s rider Willie McCarthy helped get Riding High home for his narrow win.
“He balanced him up early. Then at the right time he improved his position and then in the last 200 metres he switched the whip from his right hand to his left hand. It was a polished display,” Dwyer said.
Riding High prevailed in a tight finish to defeat Zedman by a half head to win the Great Western Steeplechase.
The victory gave former Irish and American jumps jockey Willie McCarthy his third feature win since he started riding here six weeks ago as he was also successful in the Thackeray Steeplechase and the Grand National Hurdle.
The first two races at Coleraine, the maiden hurdles, were both won by promising first season jumpers in Cernan and Roland Garros.
Former handy flat performer Cernan, who was brought to Australia by Peter Moody, was recently sold by him to a syndicate put together by Eric Musgrove and his wife Inez and the family of long-time stable client Piers Morgan.
Cernan was perfectly ridden by Darryl Horner Junior who settled him behind the speed and timed his run to perfection to win.
Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace prepared Roland Garros to win his second start over the hurdles and he had little trouble doing this.
Steve Pateman took the noted mudrunner to the lead from the outset, and he revealed on the Heavy 10 track to score by 11 lengths.
Karakoram continued a busy month with a tough win in the BM 120 hurdle over 3300 metres when he defeated the promising Sivar.
The Chris Hyland trained jumper was having his third start for the month as he finished fourth at Sandown lakeside on August 1 and then second to Eckhart at Coleraine on August 8.
Karakoram ridden by Arraon Lynch undefeated Sivar by four lengths with a gap of twenty lengths to the third placegetter Eckhart.