Eric Musgrove registers another ‘Bool winner

Trainer Eric Musgrove’s longevity as a jumps trainer has been rewarded at Warrnambool with the stalwart registering his 31st winner at the famous Three-Day Carnival.

Musgrove scored his first Warrnambool Carnival winner back in 1981 and along the way has collected two Grand Annual Steeplechase victories with Hibernian Prince in 2001 and 2002.

The stalwart did not have a runner in this year’s 5500m marathon but opened day-three of the Carnival with El Diez taking out a competitive Champion Novice Hurdle (3200m) on Thursday.

Ridden by Darryl Horner, El Diez ($21) scored a three-quarter length win from Blandford Lad ($3.40) with the $2.50 favourite Brungle Bertie a short-half-head away third.

“It’s lovely to win a race at Warrnambool,” Musgrove said.

“It’s a great carnival and it is great to see it so well supported by such a great crowd.

“It’s such a great spectacle for everyone and the jumping racing here is second-to-none.”

An outsider in the market, El Diez did have some stable supporters with the gelding, a son of All Too Hard, firming from $31 to $21 although he paid more than $36 on the Victorian TAB.

“We thought he was an each-way chance. And it is tough going in the softer ground,” Musgrove said.

“There were a couple of better performed horses, but he is like a big kid. He has taken a while to get his act together. He’s learning and he’s getting better with every run.”

Horner said the ground on Thursday, rated a Heavy 10, was very testing which made for competitive racing which had been on display throughout the whole week.

“I came in here with some handy enough rides that I thought could be in the money and everything I’ve ridden has been up to the mark,” Horner said.

“I just love it, the atmosphere, you get halfway down the straight and you can hear the crowd.

“It makes you lift.”

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