by Michael Manley
Yulong Place has emerged as a rising jumps star after he again thrashed his rivals with a dashing display to easily win the Sungold Milk Steeplechase (3450 metres) at Warrnambool on Sunday.
His 12 lengths victory followed his 25 lengths win at Hamilton at his fencing debut at his previous start.
It’s no wonder broadcaster Rick McIntosh described Yulong Place “as a jumping machine” as he careered away from his rivals in the straight.
Again, his jockey Braidon Small, used dashing tactics taking the lead 2000 metres out. Although he was challenged before the turn he left his rivals in his wake over the concluding stages.
His Pakenham trainer Lyn Shand said she was very excited about what Yulong Place had produced in his two wins over the fences.
“We always suspected the bigger fences would suit him and to see him win like that each time has been very exciting,” Shand said.
Shand said her partner, former jockey Jamie Bayliss, spotted Yulong Place for sale in an on-line auction and they purchased him for $5000 last year.
“We were looking for a jumping horse. Jamie came in and said I’ve found one. He liked him from his replays and thought he could stay and had the look of a jumper,” she said.
Shand said once they had purchased Yulong Place they had to re-educate him in two facets of his career.
The first was to make him quicker on the flat as Shand said he couldn’t go any faster than 14 seconds for 200 metres.
“We had to teach him to sprint. We also had to teach him to flatten out at the jumps as tended to jump too high. We needed to teach him to read the state of play,” she said.
Shand used her background as an equestrian rider to iron out the way he attacked his jumps and Bayliss as a former jockey worked on his speed.
They gave him six starts over the hurdles which was part of his jumps education and getting him going before letting him loose over the fences at his past two starts.
Yulong Place is Shand’s first jumps starter. She said they had bought other horses who were later in their career with the idea of jumping them but instead they were redirected to the equestrian area.
Now they are setting their sights on the bigger races and he will take his place in the Thackeray Steeplechase at Warrnambool on Sunday, July 3 and the Grand National Steeplechase at Ballarat on Sunday, August 28.
Shand said Yulong Place’s rider Braidon Small had played a key role in the horse’s development.
Small’s father Cyril, who is best known for his association with Vo Rogue and his wife Lynlea went to Warrnambool to watch Yulong Place on Sunday.
“Cyril and Jamie go back a long way from their Queensland days and are still great friends,” Shand said.
In the feature hurdle race, the Sungold Milk Hurdle, Dubawi Prince also followed up his Hamilton hurdle victory with a win at Warrnambool.
The win was in contrasting style to Yulong Prince as he came with a late run to run down Count Zero.
Dubawi Prince has also emerged as one of the state’s most promising young hurdlers.
Dubawi Prince, by Blue Diamond Stakes winner Pride Of Dubai, is only a four-year-old and joined renowned veteran jumps trainer Tony Rosolini’s small stable late last year.
Rosolini is also setting Dubawi Prince for the upcoming feature hurdle races and he will have his next start in the Kevin Lafferty Hurdle at Warrnambool on Sunday July 3.
Dubawi Prince was also an on-line purchase with Rosolini paying $14,000 for the son of Blue Diamond Stakes winner Pride Of Dubai.
Dubawi Prince was again ridden by Irishman Chris McCarthy who showed his excitement with a fist pump before the line and stewards subsequently fined him $300 for his exuberant celebration.
77 year-old Rosolini said he was impressed by Dubawi’s Prince's toughness.
“He’s going to be okay. He’s only a four-year-old and he loves wet tracks. He could have made it three on end, but he got too far out of his ground at Casterton,” Rosolini said.
Rosolini said he took a risk sending Dubawi Prince to an open hurdle after winning a maiden hurdle but that had now paid off as he could get into the feature races.
“That was a strong field. We can now get into the Lafferty and if he runs well in that he’ll run in the Grand National Hurdle,” Rosolini said.
Rosolini said he had been pleased to take advantage of McCarthy’s two kilos claim and although Pride Of Dubawi would be in a feature race he was leaning to keeping him on the horse “as he’s done a great job.”
McCarthy said it was the first time he had claimed two kilograms off the minimum weight but thought it was the right time to do so.
He only secured his jumps licence two years ago after deciding it was now or never and Pride Of Dubawi was his ninth winner.
The 32 year-old had worked in stables for most of his career and spent five years with Ciaron Maher before gaining his licence.
He now rides work for Patrick Payne five days a week and Eric Musgrove one day a week.
The first maiden hurdle was taken out by the Richard Cully trained son of Sebring, Sky Hero who came with a well timed run from jockey Aaron Lynch to come from to win.
In the second maiden hurdle over 3200 metres, the Andrew Bobbin trained Mighty Oasis broke his maiden status after a perfect ride by Willie McCarthy.
McCarthy was involved in a battle for the lead with Bow Thruster but let him take up the running before the turn. He then got Mighty Oasis to his outside and they proved too good.
Mighty Oasis had been beaten in photo finishes at his previous two jumps runs by smart jumpers Count Zero and Tolemac.