Evergreen eight-year-old Man of Class scored the biggest win of his career and floored punters when he scored a fighting win in Sunday’s $200,000 Grand National Steeplechase (4500m) at Sandown.
Trained from Warrnambool by Group One winning horseman Ciaron Maher, Man of Class started at massive odds after finishing seventh a week earlier in the Crisp Steeple.
Maher said the key to the turnaround in form was the firmer track on Sunday and an improvement in the horse’s fitness.
“It’s a big thrill,” Maher said. “I’d never won a National and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
“He’s just a real dry tracker. The conditions played into his hands today.”
“He’s had a bit of an in and out campaign. I wanted to take him to Oakbank but he had some little problems.”
“And through the winter months I’ve had to try and place him somewhere away from the wetter tracks and last week in the Crisp he ran a good race until the last jump and he had enough.”
“With the general improvement from that run and the track today – that had led to the turnaround.”
Man of Class, a son of Deputy Minister sire With Class, has turned out a great moneyspinner considering he cost just $10,500 at the 2005 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale.
A Tolka Stud graduate from western Victoria, Man of Class was purchased by his initial trainer, Dan Clarken of Toorak Thoroughbreds.
His record following Sunday’s big race win reads out at seven wins and 14 minor placings and earnings of over $275,000.
Prior to heading over the jumps Man of Class showed plenty of ability with four city wins and numerous placings in Adelaide.
A full brother to three time winner Rocky Balboa, Man of Class is from a lightly raced Defensive Play half sister to stakes performers Ngaio, Diabolical and Dashing Winner.
Man of Class’ second dam Double Liz, a daughter of Nodouble and full sister to Cato Double, was a stakes winner at Fair Grounds in the United States.
PIC – Colin Bull.