Sport

Flat runner jumps all the hurdles for a new career

By Andrew Johnston

THE intense feeling of your horse coming down the straight.

You will it to stay in front.

But the opposition is gaining, getting closer and closer to plucking that win from you.

This is not something Bit Of A Lad’s connections had to worry about.

Not only did their horse win, it won by 17 lengths.

Yes — you read that right — 17 lengths.

Racing at Warrnambool in the 1JW Hurdle on July 8 when it claimed the incredible win.

Jason Smith, one of Bit Of A Lad’s co-owners, said it was an incredible race.

‘‘It wasn’t a huge field,’’ Smith said.

‘‘But he dominated his field, and to come home and win by that kind of margin is incredible.

‘‘He’s coming up against horses that have already won races this year so it was a strong field, and in the end he was out by so far of a margin that he’s walked across the line to win the race.’’

It’s a huge win, especially considering his young hurdles career.

The four-year-old is in its first season racing hurdles.

‘‘He’s previously been on the flats his whole life, but he’s made the jump to hurdles this year,’’ he said.

‘‘And it’s worked, his last two races he’s won by eight and 17 lengths.’’

Bit Of A Lad is by no means done for the season either.

‘‘He will be running in a $100k later in the month at Bendigo,’’ Smith said.

‘‘And the plan is for him to run the nationals at Sandown for $250,000 if he does well there.’’

And one can assume that the 2019 Grand Annual Steeplechase in Warrnambool will also be on the cards for Bit Of A Lad.