Prominent Cambridge jumps jockey Shaun Phelan is keen to nab his first Australian win and he believes he has the horse to achieve the desired result.
Phelan will head to Melbourne to join forces with talented Cambridge jumper Monarch Chimes in the the A$125,000 Crisp Steeplechase (3900m) at Sandown on Sunday then, all going well, he will return to ride him a fortnight later in the A$350,000 Grand National Steeplechase (4500m).
“I rode at Oakbank a couple of years ago, but didn’t do any good,” he said. ”I’ve got a better chance this time. He’s a good jumper and he’s going so well. To win on the flat last start shows how well he’s feeling.”
Phelan is unbeaten in four rides on Monarch Chimes. He picked up a hat trick of wins on him in his first three hurdle starts last year, capped with victory in the Harrison Lane Hurdle (3350m) at Ellerslie.
He was reunited with Monarch Chimes when winning the Hawke’s Bay Hurdle (3100m) last month before the horse was taken to Australia.
Monarch Chimes followed that Hastings win with a narrow win over 2400 metres on the flat at Sandown last week.
Monarch Chimes has also tasted success over fences in Australia, having won at Pakenham last April before running third in the Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) and fourth in the Grand Annual Steeplechase (5500m) at Warrnambool.