Wells out to match Bashboy's three GN Steepechases

ALL GOING WELL: Wells heads towards victory in last year's Grand National Steeplechase in Ballarat. He is on target for a third win in the feature.

ALL GOING WELL: Wells heads towards victory in last year's Grand National Steeplechase in Ballarat. He is on target for a third win in the feature.

Champion jumper Wells will attempt to emulate the feat of Bashboy in Ballarat on Sunday, August 20.

Wells is aiming to be the second three-time winner of the Grand National Steeplechase.

Bashboy took out the classic in 2012, 2013 and 2015 – the third when ridden by legendary Irish jockey Ruby Walsh in Ballarat.

Wells first won the Grand National Steeplechase in 2014 to interrupt the reign of the Ciaron Maher-trained Bashboy.

Wells triumphed again last year at Sportsbet-Ballarat to cap off a comeback to racing after injury.

The now 10-year-old showed he is spot on for another title at the $350,000 E-Cycle Solutions Grand National Steeplechase by taking out the $125,000 Crisp Steeple at Sandown on Sunday.

That followed another win in the Mosstrooper Steeple at Bendigo.

Wells is trained by Kathryn Durden at Geelong and she could not be happier with the veteran.

“Everything’s gone really well with his preparation.

“Obviously track rating and weight will influence his performance, so we’ll have to wait and see,” she said. 

Wells carried 65.5kg to victory in the Grand National in 2014.

He did not race for almost two years after that performance, with his career looking to be over.

Wells was eased back and took the honours in the feature last year with 69kg on his back.

Ballarat Turf Club chief executive officer Lachlan McKenzie said with the Grand National Steeplechase being Australia’s richest jumps the club was expecting a field of the best jumpers to be engaged.

“It would be a fairy tale to see Wells win his third Grand National here and a real highlight of what will be a big day of spectacular racing.

Six jumps races are programmed for the all-jumps day, including the $125,000 JJ Houlihan Hurdle.

The BTC has programmed jumps trials for Monday for horses targeting the race meeting. Entry will be restricted to horses seeking qualification for the race day and/or those entered in the Houlahan Hurdle  or Grand National Steeplechase.