Memories of a previous win came flooding back for all the wrong reasons for Patrick Payne as No Song No Supper captured the Grand Annual Steeplechase at Warrnambool.
Awakening Dream took out the 2012 edition of Australia’s longest and toughest race over 33 obstacles, only for Payne to notice the jumper was unsteady on his feet.
Unseasonably warm weather on Thursday saw also left No Song No Supper in fatigued state after completing the 5500m journey.
Payne rushed No Song No Supper off to the wash bay are where for the next 15 minutes water he poured water over the horse’s head in a bid reduce the winner’s temperature.
“He’s tried really hard and pulled up with a bit of heat stress,” Payne said.
“What happens is the blood is too hot going to his brain but as soon as you cool the arteries they’re OK.
“Awakening Dream did it a couple of years ago and when I saw this horse get a bit wobbly I thought it’s the same thing.”
Payne produced No Song No Supper to score off the back of two flat runs but with 11 barrier trials, both on the flat and over jumps, under his belt.
Ridden by Richard Cully, No Song No Supper ($5) scored by 1-1/4 lengths from South Australian visitor Bold Zamour ($14) with the $2.80 favourite Thubiaan five lengths away third.
Payne said dry conditions had reduced No Song No Supper to the two flat runs this campaign.
“I didn’t want to run him on the hard ground and jar him up,” Payne said.
“We might put him out now and concentrate on the Annual again next year.
“He’s an ideal Annual horse. He doesn’t quite have the quality of the other horses but he can stay and he’s agile.”
Cully guided Chapparo to victory for Payne in 2014 and said the jockey was underrated.
For Irishman Cully, who has been in Australia for four seasons, No Song No Supper gave him a great ride and jumped faultlessly.
“I got a lovely position, stayed to the fence which is the quickest way around here,” Cully said.