by Zeb Armstrong for AJRA

The grand jumper Thubiaan lobbed in Australia many years ago as an exciting flat horse via the Old Dart. In England, the gelding won a nice race over 2400m before arriving in Australia and quickly winning four of his first six starts Down Under. Now, some four years later, the son of American sire Dynaformer is on the verge of becoming a ‘champion’ jumper. Last season he won feature jumps races The Brierly Steeplechase in Warrnambool and the Australian Steeple at Ballarat. Now, the gelding has won a 3rd Great Eastern Steeplechase for Eric Musgrove after the champion jumps trainer tasted victory in South Australia’s best jumps race with Donrewen in 1982 and Conzeal in 2008.

Thubiaan never looked in doubt during the magnificent 4950m journey and eventually he ran out the winner by some 15.4 lengths from the two time defending champion and a new up and coming steeplechaser. A case can be mounted that Thubiaan is going better than ever, and this latest win certainly adds to that theory. A win like this no doubt had owners and trainer immediately thinking about a certain 5500m race at the start of May in Warrnambool. No jumps race is easy to win; it is the ultimate test of rider and horse; however rarely do you see a horse win as well as Thubiaan did on Monday. He had a nice trial in the Von Doussa on the Saturday, then thrived over the extra trip on the Monday in the Great Eastern. This was a win for the ages and a great way to kick off the feature jumps meetings for the season.

Congratulations to all the owners of this gelding. He has comeback better than ever and considering he is still in his prime jumping-wise, it promises to be a great season for everyone concerned. Well done also to Martin Kelly on a flawless ride. It was a small but select field and Martin rode a great race and really gave no others in the race a chance. See you at the ‘Bool in a few weeks!

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