Up and RunningWe are well and truly entrenched in the jumps racing season, and as such, the Musgrove horses are up and running and have been performing really well. Since the Warrnambool Carnival, Eric has had 14 runners – of these 14, only four have finished outside the top 4, three have won, and six have placed. It has been a remarkable run of sustained results, and with two big jumps races scheduled for Sandown this Saturday, Eric’s run looks as if it will continue.
At Sandown since the turn of the millennium, Eric has had 32 starters at Sandown of which close to 40% have either won or placed. On Saturday in the Australian Hurdle, Eric will saddle up the consistent jumper Earthbound who is currently rated a $17 chance to take out the time honoured event. Three starts back, this gelding beat Brierly winner Valediction at this track, and although this week he again faces a big challenge, the son of Spinning World is more than up for this challenge. He is unbeaten at Sandown and has placed on 50% of occasions he has faced the starter over the 3400m.
In the Australian Steeplechase, Eric’s three year in year out warriors are all set and ready to do their connections proud. Urban Explorer, Zataglio and About The Journey all rarely run a bad race, and all are well and truly in the market for this 3400m classic on Saturday. Urban Explorer has won or placed in three of his four runs at Sandown, while Zataglio is backing up after a brave runners-up finish last Sunday. About The Journey with Paddy Flood aboard is the wildcard in the pack and after a freshen up following the Galleywood, he looks ready to pounce. All three have outstanding chances and they indeed are hard to separate.
Zataglio (number 10)
Both the Australian Hurdle and Australian Steeplechase are timed honoured affairs and are much sort after notches in any trainer’s belt. With Australia’s premier jumps trainer attacking both races head on, together with the presence of most of the country’s best jumpers, the two 3400m races promise to be highly entertaining affairs. Stay tuned!