The connections of North Canterbury jumper Delacroix have heeded the advice of Cambridge jumps jockey Shaun Phelan in his build-up to a couple of major missions this winter.
Delacroix won over 4280m in a restricted open steeplechase at Timaru in June by 11 and a half lengths when reunited with Phelan and purposely bypassed a trip south later in the month for a similar event at Wingatui.
“Shaun said don’t go down to Dunedin as it would be too heavy for him so we’ve waited for Timaru again,” co-trainer Karen Parsons said. “He’ll run there on Friday then be aimed for the Grand National and maybe the Great Northern.”
The Grand National Steeplechase (5600m) is at Riccarton on August 10, a month before the Great Northern Steeplechase (6400m) at Ellerslie.
A winner of six races on the flat and five over hurdles, Delacroix has shown much promise over country with three wins, three seconds and two thirds from 10 starts.
He finished seventh in last year’s Grand National Steeplechase when still a maiden ‘chaser and Phelan has been aboard in two of his steeplechase wins.
After originally being raced by Kevin Hickman, Delacroix now races in the interests of co-trainer John Parsons and former top jumps jockey Tommy Hazlett, whose feature wins included the 2006 Grand National Steeplechase on Bogeyman.