Mr PURCELL (Western Victoria) (10:09:28) — Last Sunday it was my pleasure to attend the running of the $250 000 Grand National Hurdle at Sandown Racecourse. The excitement and ovation from the large crowd was something to behold when Cougar Express passed the line. Warrnambool-based Shane Jackson picked up the ride on Cougar Express after the horse's Warrnambool trainer, Jarrod McLean's brother Brad, injured his shoulder. Shane Jackson said it was the biggest win of his career. Shane is a very popular jockey in western Victoria. He said:
The win was my good luck but bad luck for Brad. He's done all the work on Cougar Express and deserves the credit.
Another great ride on the day from jumps jockey Jarrod Lynch enabled Excellent Rhythm to score an upset win in the Crisp Steeplechase.
A small group of protesters soon disappeared when the jumps races went off well, with the day seeing an excellent day of jumping with no injuries to jockeys or horses. Congratulations to all concerned. We now look forward to the final major jumps race meeting for the season in Ballarat in 10 days time.