The Peter Moody-trained Pass Me By gets the chance to revive his racing career after losing form on the flat when he makes his jumps debut at Sandown on Wednesday.
Stable manager Jeff O’Connor explained that it wasn’t really Moody’s aim to race the Savoire Vivre six-year-old over the jumps.
“We just put him over a few to sharpen him up but he took to it well so we decided to go ahead and get his ticket,” O’Connor said .
“It wasn’t really our aim. It just happened.”
The gelding could manage to finish only 10th to Hiphopopotamus in the $100,000 Night Racing Stayers Challenge Final (3000m) at Moonee Valley on March 25.
But a week before that he won a 2800m hurdle trial at Stony Creek over Honour The Force and 2009 Australian Hurdle winner Hooker Road.
During the winter of 2009, Pass Me By won four successive races, two over 2025m at Cranbourne, one over 2510m at Flemington and another over 2500m at Moonee Valley.
Last preparation his only placing was when runner-up to Hawk Island over 2000m on a heavy track at Randwick in July last year.
Hawk Island has subsequently gone on to win the Wyong Cup (2100m) and Parramatta Cup (2000m) at Rosehill, both at Listed level, and last Saturday finished fourth to Cedarberg in The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill.
“He likes to roll along in front but he hasn’t been able to do that in his races this time in,” O’Connor said.
“He’s won on a good track before but he’s at his best on heavy so we’re looking forward to the winter with him.
Paul Hamblin, who rode Pass Me By in both of his hurdle trials, has the mount in Wednesday’s MRC Members’ Horse Club Hurdle (3300m) against seven rivals including the Darren Weir pair Virvacity and Pay The Aces.
Virvacity, winner of the 2006 Galleywood Hurdle at Warrnambool and the 2008 Von Doussa Steeplechase at Oakbank, won two 2400m hurdle trials at Warrnambool last month but has to carry topweight of 70kg.
Pay The Aces, the 2007 Ted Best Hurdle winner, beat subsequent Oakbank Hurdle winner Rabbuka by six lengths when he won a 3200m Morphettville hurdle on March 19.
There are only five runners in the Members’ Race Day 14/5 Steeplechase (3300m) headed by topweight Last Shogun who finished third to Tarawera in last year’s Australian Steeple (3900m) at Sandown.