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Thubiaan will be out to keep his unbeaten record over the steeplechase fences intact when he runs at Bendigo.

Since his switch from the hurdles, the Eric Musgrove-trained jumper has won three feature races – the Von Doussa at Oakbank on April 4, the Brierly at Warrnambool on May 5 and the Australian Steeplechase at Ballarat on May 31.

After the Von Doussa, Thubiaan had a start on the flat but will go four weeks between runs when he contests Sunday’s Mosstrooper Steeplechase (3600m).

“We gave him a week down at the beach after his last run which freshened him nicely,” the Cranbourne-based Musgrove said.

“He hasn’t left the property since the Ballarat win as he can do all his work here.

“The only reason we would need to leave home between races is to give him a trial, but he doesn’t need one.”

Musgrove holds a high opinion of Thubiaan and hopes to take him to Japan next year for the Grand Jump at Nakayama, a race the trainer has won three times with Karasi from 2005 to 2007.

But among his more immediate goals is the Grand National Steeplechase at Ballarat next month.

Martin Kelly will again be aboard on Sunday having ridden Thubiaan at his past three jumps starts.

“He’s done nothing wrong on the horse,” Musgrove said.

“He’s improved his riding so much in the last 12 months and deserves his chance.”

Stablemate Urban Explorer could make his steeplechasing debut under Aaron Lynch in the Mosstrooper but is also entered for a hurdle at Morphettville on Saturday.

 
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