Just days after his younger sister won the Group One Australasian Oaks in Adelaide, seven-year-old Gobstopper has claimed another feature win of his own in the Galleywood Hurdle at Warrnambool.
By Tavistock out of Bagalollies, Gobstopper is a brother to last Saturday’s Oaks-winning three-year-old filly Toffee Tongue and former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther.
Formerly trained by Andrew Campbell in New Zealand and the winner of the 2017 Group Three New Zealand Cup (3200m) on the flat, Gobstopper is now in the care of renowned jumps trainer Eric Musgrove in Victoria.
Gobstopper ($21) wore down short-priced favourite Runaway, the 2018 Geelong Cup winner, to win Wednesday’s $135,000 Galleywood Hurdle (3200m) in the final strides by a half-neck with 1-1/4-lengths to Ancient King third.
“That was very exciting,” Musgrove said.
“It was a great ride and he’s a very tough little horse.
“He was left here for me to train by Andrew Campbell from New Zealand.
“I was very lucky. He was educated, had everything to go on with. It’s just good to see him racing to his full potential.”
The win was Gobstopper’s 10th from 42 starts, with four of his wins hurdles including one in New Zealand.
It was a third Galleywood for Musgrove in the past 20 years while for 22-year-old Irish jockey Ronan Short, who has been based in Australia for less than two years, it was his biggest win.
Short is based at Warrnambool with the Symon Wilde stable and got the call-up to ride Gobstopper after Darryl Horner jr was ruled out after a fall schooling a horse last weekend.
“I’ve watched Ronan ride quite a bit. He’s a real trier, works hard,” Musgrove said.
Short said it was an unreal feeling.
“Eric just said to be pretty positive about his hurdles and it worked out,” he said.
“He missed one but on the whole he was great and battled well to the line. They were two tired horses but he stuck his head down and wanted to win.”