Undefeated Australian jumps racing champion Bashboy will face five rivals when he aims to win his first Australian Steeplechase (3900m) title at Sandown tomorrow.
The ten-year-old gelding has been flawless in steeplechase races this campaign, recording comfortable wins in the Mosstrooper Steeplechase (3600m), Hackeray Quality Steeplechase (3450m) and Crisp Steeplechase (3900m) before carrying a mammoth 72.5kg to win the Grand National Steeplechase (4500m) at Sandown in July.
The son of Perugino has once again been well found by the handicapper and will be forced to carry the top weight of 74.5kg but is still a clear favourite to record his tenth straight victory over jumps.
His main challenger is expected to be nine-year-old Zaman who recorded a dominant seventeen and a half lengths victory in his last start over jumps at Morphettville in Adelaide just under a fortnight ago.
Although he has impressed this campaign, the Zabeel gelding will still need to find a great deal of improvement to win the Australian Steeplechase after being beaten by Bashboy by sixteen lengths in the Crisp Steeplechase.
Maythehorsebemagic will contest the Australian Steeplechase on the back of a narrow win over Westsouthwest in the JJ Houlahan Hurdle (3400m) at Sandown in July.
The son of Zabeel has raced at a Group level over the flat and was competitive in black type racing during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival when he finished seventh behind 2013 Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune in the Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m).
He has improved rapidly since starting his jumps racing career at Ballarat on August 21 and based on his flat form will be competitive if he gets over the jumps successfully.
The 2013 Australian steeplechase field is rounded out by last start jumps winner Riviera Star, six-year-old gelding Backburn and Pat Hyland-trained Makena Lei.
See below for the full 2013 Australia Steeplechase final field and barrier draw.
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2013 The Australian Steeplechase Final Field and Barrier Draw
Sandown Race 3 – 12.30pm (AEST) 27/08/2013
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||1×42101111||BASHBOY||Ciaron Maher||Steven Pateman||3||74.5kg||153|
|2||x15FP32431||ZAMAN (NZ)||Fran Houlahan & Brian Johnston||Shane Jackson||5||64.5kg||133|
|3||x343194511||MAYTHEHORSEBEMAGIC (NZ)||Jarrod McLean||Brad McLean||1||64kg||132|
|4||7730211P10||RIVIERA STAR (NZ)||Brett Scott||Richard Eynon||2||64kg||124|
|5||0x4x557481||BACKBURN||Todd Balfour||Paul Gallagher||4||64kg||115|
|6||3032234P33||MAKENA LEI||Pat Hyland||Paul Hamblin||6||64kg||115|