Black And Bent sets new mark

| May 22, 2013
Champion hurdler Black And Bent setting a new Australian record in consecutive jumps victories.

Champion hurdler Black And Bent setting a new Australian record in consecutive jumps victories.

Champion hurdler Black And Bent claimed an Australian-record 10th successive victory with a dominant performance in the $100,000 Jack Dow Memorial Hurdle (3,300m) – his first over jumps in more than a year.

The Robert Smerdon-trained star had shared the record with Lots Of Time for more than 12 months after injuring a tendon for a second time after the Galleywood Hurdle at Warrnambool last year.

Black And Bent’s winning streak over the hurdles has lasted more than three years, having started with a Sandown hurdle win in April 2010.

Lots Of Time’s nine-win streak came in just over three months in 1969.

Smerdon admitted to nerves because he was desperate for Black And Bent to set a new mark, and the trainer had made a conscious effort to make sure the gelding was ready for the challenge before stepping him back out over the obstacles.

“Normally you just deal with it but I had a fair few butterflies during the run,” Smerdon said.

“I was wanting it for him and hoping nothing would go wrong. He jumped terrific so it’s a really good thrill.”

Adding extra significance for Smerdon was the fact Black And Bent had “come off the canvas” to set the record after the trainer felt his jumps career was over.

Top jumps jockey Steven Pateman brought Black And Bent, the $1.40 favourite, into the race at the right time and they hit the front before the final hurdle before going on to put nine lengths on runner-up Xaar Best, with 1-1/2 lengths to Love Or Gold.

“It’s good to make history and I think he’s going better than ever,” Pateman said.

“It’s a huge training effort.”

Smerdon will keep Black And Bent and star young hurdler Brungle Cry apart for their next start but admits they will have to clash soon.

“And then they’ve got to beat Macedonian,” Smerdon said.

Macedonian made a big impression in his jumps debut at Sandown, taking out the Robert Fitzgerald Memorial Hurdle (3,300m) by 20 lengths and giving premier Melbourne trainer Peter Moody his first winner in a jumps race.

Smerdon brought up a jumps double for the day with Kirribilli Gold, a narrow winner of the $100,000 Great Southern Steeplechase (3,300m).


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