Racing: Spying On You one to watch in 5500m Grand Annual

By AAP

The South Australian jumper ran fifth in last year's 5500m marathon and lines up today as a last-start winner. Photo / 123RF
The South Australian jumper ran fifth in last year's 5500m marathon and lines up today as a last-start winner. Photo / 123RF

The preparation for Warrnambool's Grand Annual Steeplechase has been a lot smoother for Spying On You the second time around.

The South Australian jumper ran fifth in last year's 5500m marathon and lines up today as a last-start winner.

Spying On You won the Great Eastern Steeplechase at Oakbank on April 15 after falling in that race 12 months earlier. Trainer Grant Young admits to making a rookie mistake with the rising 8-year-old in the lead-up to last year's Grand Annual.

On the Sunday before the race, Young took Spying On You from his Murray Bridge stables to give him a school over the Warrnambool steeplechase track.

Instead of staying in Warrnambool, Young took the jumper back to Murray Bridge, a return float trip of 14 hours. "We went over on the Sunday and did a school and I showed a bit of rawness," Young said.

"I should have stayed there but I decided to come home and then went back on the Thursday."

To compound matters Young lost jockey Paul Hamblin who failed a breathalyser test on the morning of the race before later being cleared.

This year former Irish jockey Tom Ryan partners Spying On You having ridden the gelding to victory over 4950m at Oakbank.

Spying On You is rated a $13 chance in what is considered one of the most open Grand Annuals for many years. The Patrick Payne-trained Slowpoke Rodriguez is the $3.70 favourite ahead of Tuesday's flat winner I'll'ava'alf at $5.50.

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