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Spying On You ready to tackle steeple star Zed Em

Grant Young is confident bypassing Wednesday’s Von Doussa will see Spying On Young take the race up to red hot favourite Zed Em in Saturday’s $127,760 Great Eastern Steeplechase (4950m) at Oakbank.

It’s a proven formula for the pair, as Murray Bridge-based trainer Young bypassed the 2017 Von Doussa before Spying On You claimed the biggest win of his career, fending off Undergroundfighter in thrilling 4950m, 24-jump epic.

“I know I couldn’t my horse any better,” Young said.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Zed Em and I have a lot of respect for Patrick Payne (but) hopefully my bloke can run another massive race.”

Like Zed Em, Spying On You has a real affinity with Oakbank.

He had his first start at the famous Adelaide Hills track in 2016, running second behind Nishiazabu in a steeple, before finishing fourth in the Von Doussa two weeks later.

He won the 2017 Great Eastern, finished fourth in both features in 2018 before finishing runner-up behind Zed Em in both races in 2019.

Despite being well beaten in his only jumps trial behind Getting Leggie at Oakbank last month, Young said he wasn’t surprised to see Spying On You turn his form around on the flat and win over 2900m there last Sunday.

“He pulled up terrific from the run,” Young said.

“That race really fitted in well with what I wanted him to do before the Great Eastern.

“If anything I would have liked him to have more of a blow after the race.”

Spying On You is marked a $6.50 second favourite with in a race where Zed Em dominates the market at $1.65 following his narrow defeat in Wednesday’s Von Doussa.

The other major thing in Spying On You’s favour is a six-kilogram weight advantage on the favourite.

Zed Em carried only a kilogram more when he beat Spying On You in the 2019 Von Doussa and they met at level weights in the Great Eastern that year.

“He really does look well weighted this year,” Young said.

And he also said don’t be surprised to see stablemate Pentelligentsia run a cheeky race following his win in the steeple there on Sunday.

“He’s a real stayer,” Young said.

“He’s headstrong, which is strange for steeplechaser, but if he can get into a nice rhythm it wouldn’t surprise me to see him in the finish.”

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