Well-related gelding Gobstopper is making his mark during this year’s Victorian jumps racing season and trainer Eric Musgrove is now plotting a path for him to the Grand National Hurdle.
By Tavistock out of Bagalollies, Gobstopper’s siblings include former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther and recent Group One Australasian Oaks winner Toffee Tongue.
Gobstopper added Sunday’s Australian Hurdle at Sandown to his recent victory in the Galleywood Hurdle at Warrnambool, with the Grand National Hurdle in early August at Sandown now his main target this year.
“We haven’t completely made up our mind but he will go to the National at Sandown probably by way of the Lafferty Hurdle,” Musgrove said.
The Kevin Lafferty Hurdle is on July 5 at Warrnambool with the Grand National Hurdle on August 2.
Musgrove hopes Gobstopper will not be too harshly treated in the handicaps for the National.
“He’s not a very big horse, so providing weight doesn’t get him he would be right in it,” he said.
Musgrove said the seven-year-old had come through Sunday’s 2-3/4 length win over 3900m in terrific order and was bright as a button.
Gobstopper started his career in New Zealand with trainer Andrew Campbell and his wins on the flat included the Group Three New Zealand Cup in November 2017.
Campbell brought the gelding to Australia last year, with Gobstopper winning the Brendan Drechsler Hurdle at Pakenham before failing to finish in the Grand National Hurdle.
“Last season when he came over it was probably at the end of his prep,” Musgrove said.