Zanteco too strong in National Hurdle

The icy cold waters of Warrnambool’s Lady Bay are not just therapeutic for racehorses.

Jumps jockey Brad McLean also took advantage of the salt water ahead of his win in the Grand National Hurdle at Sandown on Sunday aboard the Darren Weir-trained Zanteco.

Warrnambool trainers, including record-breaking Weir, swear by the benefits of the sea water.

It was McLean’s first day back race riding after a fall from Gold Spur at Warrnambool on July 10.

McLean suffered a lower left leg injury in the tumble before riding in a steeplechase the race after, but under sufferance.

He tried to ride on the following week but eventually had to visit Racing Victoria’s doctor, Gary Zimmerman.

“He put me on the right direction,” Mclean said.

“I was a little worried about the Achilles. It might have been the end of the season if it was no good.

“The icy cold waters of Lady Bay have done wonders.”

Coming from off the pace Zanteco ($3.90) scored by two lengths from Tremec ($4.40) with the $3.80 favourite Gingerboy and Slowpoke Rodriguez ($14), sharing third place, a half-neck away.

McLean was having his second ride aboard Zanteco on Sunday having ridden the gelding to second place at Casterton early last month when he didn’t settle.

He said a lot of work had gone into Zanteco since that performance which has resulted in wins at Bendigo and then again on Sunday.

“I’ve reaped the rewards today for all the hard work the team has done,” McLean said.

“He switched off well, he jumped terrific apart from the last which he made a bit of a mess of but he came out of it really quick and didn’t lose any ground.

“It was a terrific effort.”

McLean said he should have gone close to claiming a jumps double after his mount Zed Em was softened up by the riderless stablemate Sea King in the Crisp Steeplechase.

“If we had our own time in front we would have been right, but that’s racing,” McLean said.

“Straightening up I didn’t have a lot of horse left but it was a brave effort to finish it off.”

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