Eustace breaks his Rowley Mile duck after nearly three decades

DUCK BROKEN: James Eustace (left) and head of the yard Becky Curtis (right) alongside Rowley Mile winner Music Seeker
DUCK BROKEN: James Eustace (left) and head of the yard Becky Curtis (right) alongside Rowley Mile winner Music Seeker

James Eustace is a multiple Group race-winning trainer in four different countries across two continents.

Refuse To Lose’s success in the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot in 1998 remains one of Eustace’s finest achievements, while War Artist strode to triumphs in France, Germany and Dubai.

And yet, throughout almost 30 years as a head trainer, Eustace had never had a winner on the Rowley Mile.

That particular duck was broken on Friday, though, as 14-1 shot Music Seeker hit the front two furlongs out and ran on to triumph in the Museum Of The Year Finalist Maiden Stakes.

The three-year-old’s victory was a particularly poignant one for the trainer, given that the horse is owned by Jeff Smith, who sold Eustace his Park Lodge Stables base 28 years ago.

“I was not particularly worried about never having had a winner at the Rowley Mile,” said Eustace.

“I had accepted it was not going to happen. To be honest, I have not had many runners good enough for the course.

“Obviously I am delighted, but more so that we won the race in Jeff’s colours.

“He has been a big supporter of us for a long time and we have had some big winners over the years, including Refuse to Lose.

“It is fitting that one of Jeff’s horses got us the win.”

After his Rowley Mile victory, Eustace is now planning to send Music Seeker to Doncaster early next month.

Were the son of Henrythenavigator to make it back-to-back wins in Yorkshire, Eustace has eyes on the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“He is probably going to have to win at Doncaster, but after the performance at Newmarket he is certainly capable of that,” said Eustace.

“We were worried about the soft ground at Newmarket but he ended up being a revelation on it.

“Let’s just hope that it ends up being wet up at Doncaster and then again at Ascot because it seems to suit him more than we thought.”