By Michael Manley
Australia’s leading jumps trainer, Eric Musgrove, is hoping to celebrate forty years of having runners at Warrnambool with another successful week.
Musgrove has made his annual pilgrimage to Warrnambool where he has built up one of the best records in his four decades of competing there.
“It’s a week I always look forward to and I can’t wait to be part of it again. It’s an important one for jumps racing,” Musgrove said.
Musgrove has won two Grand Annual Steeplechases with Hibernian Prince in 2001 and 2002.
The race he has dominated at Warrnambool has been the Brierly Steeplechase which he has won five times already.
Musgrove is hoping to nab his sixth win in the Brierly Steeplechase where he will be represented by his dependable jumper Lucques on Tuesday.
On the opening day of the carnival, Musgrove also has seven horses accepted in the first three maiden hurdle races.
Musgrove said he wasn’t expecting to have a Grand Annual Steeplechase runner this year.
Musgrove said it would be a special win if he could add another Brierly Steeplechase to his record.
Musgrove’s Brierly winners have been Sing For Supper in 1985, Commission Red in 1988, Worthy Knight in 1999, Chakra in 2004 and Thubiann in 2015.
Musgrove said Lucques was a dependable jumper who deserved a change of luck.
From his past four starts, Lucques has finished second on three occasions and also third in the Von Doussa Steeplechase.
Lucques also finished second in last year’s Brierly Steeplechase to Getting Leggie and also third in the 2019 Galleywood Hurdle.
Lucques hasn’t won since 2019 but has chalked up nine placings since, consisting of five seconds and four thirds.
“He’s always knocking on the door. He deserves an ounce of luck and if he gets it he will go close,” Musgrove said.
“I couldn’t be happier with him. He runs second or third every time he races. He’ll go to the Brierly and be very competitive.”
Musgrove said he was looking forward to his jumpers Mr One Eleven and Coleridge running in the Galleywood Hurdle.
“They are both a little under the top one’s but I think they will be very competitive,” he said.
Musgrove has also trained three Galleywood Hurdle winners since 1995.