EarthboundWhen one thinks of the sire Spinning World, the mind automatically thinks about 1 – how good this French horse was on the racetrack. And 2 – his daughter Spinning Queen who is the 2nd most expensive horse ever sold. She was purchased as a three-year-old filly for 3 million guineas! When the mind wanders to thoughts of the champion French colt, it takes a little while to filter all the way down the line to a Musgrove jumper named Earthbound (Spinning World x Crow's Nest) who won almost the best Victorian steeplechase race this season on Wednesday.
1st up Earthbound finished not too far back from a close relation to Black Caviar over 1400m, before another sound flat run at Warrnambool. From here it was to Oakbank and the gelding beat all but the up and coming star hurdler Now And Zen. Then without muss fuss in true Musgrove style, Earthbound was trialled twice over the fences before Wednesday’s 3300m race.
The previous week, the consistent jumper Valediction had won the hurdle race in Hamilton relegating a very unlucky About The journey to 2nd. This week team Musgrove got their revenge on the Waterhouse trained Valediction defeating the Zabeel gelding by the shortest possible margin courtesy of a brilliant run from Earthbound. This was a special steeplechase; Valediction got out to a seemingly unassailable lead but with the passing of every yard of turf, Earthbound was wearing him down. It is quite remarkable when it takes the last two feet of a 3300m steeplechase to decide the winner – it is great for both set of connections and for the jumps racing as a whole. There is no secret that Eric Musgrove and Gai Waterhouse are good friends as well as great rivals. Both champion trainers have a certain ‘roll up the sleeves attitude’ that once the race is won, the winner is congratulated, a drink is shared and the runner up immediately starts planning on how to turn the tables next start. In fact this is the general attitude through the entire jumps industry – it is a jumps community and the defeated while disappointed are the first to congratulate the winners. This is the way it is and it is the way it should be.
Earthbound clearly possesses a big finish at the end of a trip; he is well performed on the flat and he is seemingly getting better as a seven-year-old heading towards his eight-year-old season. Aided by a patient Arron Lynch ride, Earthbound was able to show his best. This was a great win by a progressive horse and in winning, the gelding defeated a really good field. He looks all set for a big jumps preparation.