Scott Seeking change of luck
12 Jul 2012 | Dubhdara's runaway win on Thursday at Ballarat could be a good sign for Brett Scott, who has Seeking The Silver engaged in Sunday's $200,000 Grand National Hurdle at Sportingbet Park (Sandown).
The former's 15-length win snapped a frustrating run for the ex-champion jockey, who had not previously trained a winner, and he is keen to see Seeking The Silver end a similarly exasperating stretch in the Grand National.
The grey gelding has been the most consistent performer of this year's J.J. Houlahan Jumps Championship, placing in all five legs that he has contested, but he is yet to win.
“He's been true to his name; we probably should change it to Seeking The Gold,” Scott said with a chuckle.
“But while he's been a bit of a bridesmaid, there's been no disgrace getting beaten by some of the horses he has been beaten by and I've been happy with him.”
That consistency will have Seeking The Silver start one of the genuine chances in the 3900-metre in the Grand National Hurdle, a race Scott won twice as a jockey.
The seven-year-old is backing up after finishing runner-up to Grand National rival Gotta Take Care in the Kevin Lafferty Hurdle at Warrnambool last Saturday.
That followed a second to Kirribilli Gold in the Australian Hurdle, while he also logged third placings in the Yalumba Hurdle, Galleywood Hurdle and Jack Dow Memorial Hurdle for far this season.
The son of Sakura Seeking meets Gotta Take Care 1.5kg better for last week's three-length defeat and while there is the added obstacle of Robert Smerdon's rising star Brungle Cry this week, Scott is confident of a strong showing.
“He loves the wet, jumps well and stays well, so everything points to saying that he should be right in the finish.” The Mornington trainer said.
“I'm going into the race really happy with my horse, it's just a matter of whether he's good enough to beat a couple of those other ones who might be a bit sharper.”
Gotta Take Care (69kg) and Seeking The Silver (65kg), who will be ridden by Richard Eynon, are the only two in Sunday's race carrying more than the 64kg minimum. Zaman, Dhaafer, Berlioz and Father Dex join Brungle Cry on the limit weight.
Sunday's race will be the second-last run of a campaign Scott hopes will culminate with the $250,000 Grand National Steeplechase (4500m), also at Sandown, on 29 July.
Whether stablemate Tobouggie Nights joins him in that race depends on how he goes in the other J.J Houlahan Jumps Championship leg on Sunday's card, the $100,000 Crisp Steeplechase (3900m).
The dour gelding won the Von Doussa-Great Eastern Steeplechase double at Oakbank in early April, but has disappointed in his only two runs since.
“He needs to step up to the plate,” Scott said. “It's been a long season for him as well, he performed well early, but he has struggled on the heavy tracks since Oakbank.
“He's well in training, he's eating good and working well, so I couldn't be happier with him in that regard but he does need to go out and do it raceday. What he does Sunday will decide whether he goes onto the National Steeple or whether he goes back to New Zealand.”
Tobouggie Nights is one of eight runners in the Crisp Steeplechase, which includes last Saturday's Thackeray Steeplechase winner Regal Heir, former star Tarawera, Great Southern winner Al Karam, the untapped Bashboy and Kiwi raider Roodyvoo.