Promising jumper Bashboy (Perugino) led home the two horses to finish Sunday’s $100,000 Crisp Steeplechase (3900m) at Sandown Lakeside.
Only Bashboy and Titch (Lord Ballina) finished the Crisp Steeplechase. Titch looked set for the fourth money but Regal Heir and Half Moon Rising crashed at the penultimate and final jumps to leave Bashboy 17 lengths clear on the line.
Bashboy had the race won when the two runners fell. The gelding travelled midfield for star jumps jockey Steven Pateman before creeping forward from the 1200 metres to sweep past the leaders approaching the second last jump.
However, Pateman admitted to one anxious moment when Bashboy put in a faulty jump half way up the hill on the Sandown jumps track.
“We had a life up the hill when he nearly fell but to recover from that and a bit of interference at the top of the back straight, it makes his win even more impressive."
Bashboy started at $2 on track but paid $1.90 on the Victorian TAB. The eight-year-old completed the 3900-metre trip in 4:51.35 on heavy ground, which was more than 20 seconds outside Some Are Bent’s track record.
The Crisp Steeplechase was Bashboy’s fifth run back from a two-year absence from the track due to injury. Bashboy’s trainer Ciaron Maher said the horse’s main owner Ian Macdonald played a pivotal role in nursing the 31-start veteran back to fitness.
"Ian Macdonald has done a lot of the rehabilitation,” Maher said. “He has spent a lot of time with him. I have had him for the past six months and my job has been pretty easy.
"Hopefully, he comes through this well, he is coming back from injury but he looked pretty free going to the line then."
The win was Bashboy’s seventh. The $61,000 winner’s cheque took his stakes tally to more than $160,000 for his owners – I Macdonald, R Date and P A Smith.