The flat ability of Gold Medals has shone through over the concluding stages of the Australian Steeplechase at Sandown.
In a neck-and-neck struggle from the last jump, Gold Medal ($3.20) prevailed over the $2.80 favourite Zed Em by a long head over Saturday’s 3400m and 11 obstacles.
Marlo Man ($14) was a further 12 lengths away third.
Jockey Shane Jackson said Gold Medal’s flat ability shone through although a big jump at the final obstacle also had a bearing on the result.
“I needed a long jump at that final jump,” Jackson said.
“Maybe he was a little bit low, but he was brave for me.
“If I missed that last I think I get beaten, but then I thought I was going to go away from the second horse, but he kept fighting.
“He’s a tough animal.”
Gold Medal’s victory provided trainer Symon Wilde with his second win in the race following Megapixel’s win in 2012.
Wilde said the victory on Saturday was a huge thrill as Gold Medals is a stable favourite.
Gold Medals won his first race as a two-year-old over 1000m at Warrnambool before graduating to city success on the flat.
He was also a hurdle winner before switching to the bigger jumps when sixth in the Brierly Steeplechase at Warrnambool.
Either side of the Brierly, Gold Medals won the Terang Cup and was a close second in the Casterton Cup.
“He’s the most versatile horse and an absolute stable favourite,” Wilde said.
“I think he’s a great advertisement. A seven-year-old at the peak of his powers who is mixing jumps racing and flat racing.
“We love him and he’s got a home for life when he’s finished racing.”