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Jumps racing champion Black and Bent recorded a famous victory in the Grand National Hurdle (3900m) at Sandown yesterday, smashing the weight carrying record for the race that had stood for over seventy years.
Black and Bent was allocated 72kg for the 2013 Grand National by the handicapper and it looked as though the weight was taking a toll on the seven-year-old, who travelled well off the pace for the majority of the race.
The Black Hawk gelding was more than six lengths behind the rest of the four horse field as the pace began to quicken but responded well when asked for an extra effort by jockey Steven Pateman and was in touch with the leaders at the second last hurdle when odds-on favourite Wells fell and was eliminated from contention.
Last year’s winner Brungle Cry still held a narrow lead going over the final hurdle but Black and Bent was able to race away in the final 300 metres to score a two length victory from Stand To Gain and an exhausted Brungle Cry.
Trainer Robert Smerdon thought that Black and Bent’s career may have been over after he suffered a tendon injury last year and was delighted with the brave effort of the champion who holds a special place in his heart.
“I thought his last tendon would have been the end of his racing career but he’s come back and proved us all wrong and you’ve just got to take your hat off to the horse,” Smerdon said after the race.
“It was a tough effort, the race really changed complexion so much in that last part but it was a great effort on the horse’s part.
He’s had a lot of miles and a lot of issues and he’s dealt with them all which is probably a testament to his determination.”
Jockey Steven Pateman admitted that he was worried during the run but was quick to pay credit to Smerdon’s remarkable training performance.
“He was always off the bit and I was struggling to keep him in contact but these days he just wants to stay,” Pateman said.
“Robert Smerdon is an absolute master, it’s been an enormous training effort with all of his injuries and the horse has to do it tough these days with the weight.”
You can find the full 2013 Grand National Hurdle results in the table below and can stay up to date with the latest jumps racing news here at Races.Com.Au.
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2013 Grand National Hurdle Results & Finishing Order
Sandown Race 4 – 14/07/2013
|1||1||BLACK AND BENT||Robert Smerdon||Steven Pateman||–||1||72kg||$3.50|
|2||5||STAND TO GAIN (IRE)||Bob Challis||Paul Hamblin||1.75L||2||64kg||$7.50|
|3||2||BRUNGLE CRY||Robert Smerdon||Tom Ryan||6L||3||67.5kg||$9|
|F||3||WELLS||Kathryn Durden||Brad McLean||–||4||65.5kg||$1.80F|
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