Steeplechasing plans may be put on hold

Zedeedudadeeko on his way to Anuka Smoker Wellington Hurdle (3400m) glory. Source: Race Images.

Zedeedudadeeko’s return to form at Trentham may force part-owner and trainer Jamie Phillips to change tack.

The nine-year-old bounced back to his best on Saturday with an upset victory in the Anuka Smoker Wellington Hurdle (3400m).

“I was thinking it was time to say that’s enough and he can go steeplechasing, but I have to think about that again now,” Phillips said.

The son of Zed was posting his first win since he claimed top honours in last year’s Great Northern Hurdles (4190m).

This preparation, he was given three flat runs before he returned over the small fences, only to be pulled up in the Awapuni Hurdles (2900m).

However, a more rigorous training regime and a return to Wellington paved the way for a much- improved performance.

“He loves Trentham and he’d had a lot of work, he was ready,” Phillips said.

Zedeedudadeeko was back in the early running before rider Charlie Studd made a move with a lap to go. They improved to sit outside the leader The Shackler before hitting the front three flights from home and then safely negotiated the final two fences.

Studd was afforded the luxury of an exaggerated look over his shoulder after the last jump and they strolled home at odds of 16-1.

Manawatu Steeplechase (4200m) winner Game Percy fought on gallantly for second with Kipkeino third. Last year’s winner The Shackler, who was niggled at in front, weakened out to finish a distant sixth.