Clayton Douglas says nothing will top his win in the 2018 Grand Annual Steeplechase at Warrnambool, but success in the Galleywood Hurdle would be something special.
Not only would victory on The Midnight Shift in Wednesday’s feature hurdle at the Three-Day Carnival give Douglas victory in all three of the big jumps’ races, it would also provide him with a first success as a trainer at the carnival.
Douglas has held his trainers’ licence for less than a year and is looking forward to the dual challenge on Wednesday.
“It’s very exciting and I’m looking forward to it,” Douglas said.
“We got the horse in November last year. I had a client send it to me from New Zealand and this has been the target all the way along.
“It’s been a long process, six months, and I’m just glad of the fact we’ve got him to the race and he’s in really good order.”
For the jumps racing fraternity, the Warrnambool Three-Day Carnival is akin to Melbourne Cup week.
Douglas said the former New Zealand galloper was a ready-made jumper when he arrived at his stable.
“He’d won a maiden hurdle and backed up and won a Hawkes Bay Hurdle in New Zealand,” Douglas said.
“I’ve done a lot of schooling with him here and he’s a natural jumper, a great mover and has a great eye for a fence.
“A Grand Annual win was pretty special, a pretty awesome part of my life, and I’ve won a Brierly, so to add a Galleywood and give me the three feature jump wins, that would be great.”
Douglas will aim for a second Grand Annual win on Thursday when he partners 2018 victor Gold Medals in Thursday’s 5500m marathon.