NZ Campaign Off The Cards For Al Garhood

Ciaron Maher

Trainer Ciaron Maher has decided against taking Al Garhood to New Zealand

Trainer Ciaron Maher has decided against taking Al Garhood to compete in the Great Northern Steeplechase in New Zealand in September.

Al Garhood, who has won back-to-back Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechases, will now go for a spell instead of travelling overseas.

The rising 12-year-old will then be prepared for a third attempt at the Grand Annual next May.

Maher made the decision to rest Al Garhood after the horse was experiencing some minor leg pain.

“I was going to take him but he had a little bit of pain in one sesamoid and I had him X-rayed and there was nothing there,” he said.

“But everything has to be 100 per cent to go forward.

“Whether he knocked it I don’t know but he’ll go for a break now.

“He normally is spelling at this time of the year and he’ll just have a rest and maybe come back next year, we’ll see.”

Maher says his only concern about tackling a third Grand Annual is the heavy weight he is likely to be assigned.

“The weight they’ll give him is a bit of a worry,” Maher said.

“I’ll have to have a chat to the handicapper.”

Al Garhood began jumping hurdles after a mediocre flat racing career and has now won 11 of his 33 starts and has earned almost $500,000 in prize money.

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