On Top Again
The 16 race J.J. Houlahan Jumps Championship has been run and won again and again it was Eric Musgrove who accrued the most points to end up on the top of the leading trainer’s category. Eric’s success this year was thanks largely to seven horses – Thubiaan, Earthbound, Tremec, Shearer, About The Journey, Compelled and Zataglio. These seven horses all won at least one race during the season and upon trawling through the seasons’ stats it has become very apparent that the Musgrove trained horses this season have been ultra-consistent.
Thubiaan was again the leader of the pack this season. The ‘jumps Group 1 performer’ only had the four starts – all in the top races in South Australia and Victoria. The former English stayer finished 2nd in the Von Doussa before backing up in the Great Eastern at Oakbank where he was the winner over a hot field by 15 lengths. Thubiaan is now a nine-year-old but he has been competitive at the elite top level for some time now and he certainly does not look like slowing down heading towards the 2017 season.
Thubiaan (red cap)
Earthbound in seven jumps races this campaign was in the top three on six occasions. This is consistency personified. The gelding’s win came over Valediction at Sandown in a ding dong battle up the home straight. Valediction went onto win the Brierly two weeks later. Earthbound is now an eight-year-old but he looks to have taken to jumping well as demonstrated by his near perfect top three record. Look for Earthbound around Brierly time 2017. The race came up a little quick this year, but there is no doubt Eric will have this son of Spinning World ready for the ‘Bool 2017.
There might not be a more promising jumper in Australia than the multiple Group flat race winner Tremec. In his first season over the jumps, this gelding raced four times for a six length win and three 2nd places. He is only going to get better with more jumps racing under his belt and he is one of the top Musgrove horse to follow heading into the 2017 season.
Shearer had the biggest preparation of any of the Musgrove jumps winners this season. The son of Reset in his last nine starts this season, did not finish further back than 5th. He record two very good wins for the season – one was over the Group 1 flat performer Extra Zero, while the other was a 12 length romp at Gawler. Shearer is the youngest of the bunch this season, and he certainly has demonstrated he can handle a lot of racing during a season. He is another to keep an eye on next year.
About The Journey had another successful season winning races at Oakbank and at Morphettville. This is the 2nd consecutive year that this gelding has performed well in South Australia and he is one of the prime reasons Eric was too able secure this year’s leading jumps trainer gong in South Australia for a 2nd consecutive year. So together with back-to-back J.J. Houlahan leading Jumps trainer gongs, Eric also is the two time defending South Australian leading jumps trainer. The stable is certainly enjoying a rich vein of form and it is consistent performers like About The Journey that keep the stable ticking over.
About The Journey
Compelled, just like last year, popped up for a good jumps win. This year Mount Gambier was the venue, and Compelled in between several excellent runs, won on this day nicely. This year was the 3rd year that this gelding has been jumping and with the passing of each season, this son of Elvstroem continues to get better and better. He is another to keep an eye on moving forward.
Last but not least Zatalgio, a gelding with as much upside as any jumper going around, managed to record one win for the season – an astounding win at that, winning untouched by eight lengths. Before the tracks got bottomless, this gelding raced five times and finished in the top three on all five occasions. He is a jumper on the rise and he certainly looks a Grand Annual prospect in 2017.
So there we have it. Another season done and another two leading trainer gongs for Eric. Well done to all!
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