STEVE Pateman is taking a measured approach to the Warrnambool carnival which could build to a crescendo for him on Thursday when he rides Stern Idol in the Grand Annual Steeplechase.
Pateman 40 is in outstanding form having ridden four winners from his nine rides this season.
“I’ve got some very good rides and I’ll take it one race at a time. I feel fit and ready to go. My weight is good and I’m looking forward to it,” Pateman said.
Pateman will also ride Saunter Boy in the Galleywood Hurdle on Wednesday.
Pateman has a great record at the Warrnambool carnival having won the Brierly Steeplechase four times, the Grand Annual three times and the Galleywood Hurdle twice.
Pateman has four rides on Tuesday which are King’s Charisma, Aquileon and Impulsar in the opening three Maiden hurdles on Tuesday for Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace and then he has Valac which he trains in the Brierly Steeplechase.
Last year Valac started favourite in the Grand Annual Steeplechase but he fell.
Pateman is happy with Valac and thinks he’s in well on the weights.
“His trial was fantastic. He seems really well. He’s happy in himself. He’s the best galloper in the race and he’s ready to go.”
Flying Agent’s trainer Amy McDonald believes her galloper faces a challenge in the Brierly Steeplechase, a race he also won in 2021.
McDonald said Flying Agent was flattered by his recent trial win at Warrnambool which he won by 25 lengths.
“He wasn’t against his usual competition, and it made him look a bit more special than usual,” McDonald said.
Flying Agent will be ridden by her husband Lee Horner and will carry 71 kilograms which McDonald said won’t be an easy task for him.
“He’s got to carry 71 kilos. He gets in reasonably well with his record but he’s still got to give weight to Paul Preusker’s smart horses and Valac so I think he’s up against it.”
“He’s going well though. He couldn’t be any better going into the race. I’m not thinking it’s going to be a demolition job.”
McDonald said they were already planning for next year’s Grand Annual Steeplechase with Flying Agent.
McDonald and Horner moved recently to a farm near Drysdale and she said they were loving training from there.
“We have everything we want on the farm and otherwise we go to the beach or the track to work them,” she said.