Sec­ond Hal­don Gold Cup win for God’s Own

Western Morning News - - Horses -

Tom Ge­orge has plenty of young tal­ent to work with this sea­son and sta­ble stal­wart God’s Own showed he still has a big part to play in win­ning the Hal­don Gold Cup at Ex­eter for the sec­ond time.

Hav­ing claimed the Grade Two prize back in 2014, the ever­green 10year-old got the bet­ter of long-time leader Ozzie The Os­car in a pul­sat­ing fin­ish on Tues­day, to score for the first time since the Cham­pion Chase at Punchestown in April 2016.

Stalk­ing the pace for much of the ex­tended two-mile-one-fur­long con­test, the 7-2 shot was de­liv­ered by Paddy Bren­nan to make his chal­lenge over the fi­nal fence, af­ter work­ing his way into the race up the home straight.

Show­ing his ap­petite for a fight, God’s Own ral­lied well un­der pres­sure be­fore forg­ing on close to the line to score by half a length and earn a 251 quote for the Ryanair Chase with Paddy Power.

Ge­orge said: “I was more emo­tional about that one than any other win­ner I’ve had. For him to come back af­ter last sea­son was great. I keep on say­ing about the ground, but it just shows how im­por­tant it is to some horses. He is 10 years of age and has still got plenty left in him.

“He had ev­ery­thing in his favour, al­though age was not in his favour. He has had lots of lit­tle is­sues down the years, but we’ve kept the wheels on and he was fresh and well for to­day.

“They prob­a­bly didn’t quite go quick enough and he was quite keen. It did turn into a bit of a sprint turn­ing in – over two-miles-one a proper gal­lop would suit him bet­ter, but he is a class horse.

“In the Tin­gle Creek he will come up against fresh horses again, but to­day was what we were aim­ing for. Paddy said af­ter the Cel­e­bra­tion Chase we should aim him here.

“Punchestown and here are big, gal­lop­ing tracks and that is where he shows his best form.”

The well-fan­cied Diego Du Charmil was last of the five run­ners, and his Som­er­set trainer Paul Ni­cholls said: “He took the bulb of his heel and shoe off at the sec­ond-last down the back.

“We will be able to run him in six weeks’ time, it is not like last year when he got in­jured at New­ton Ab­bot and was out un­til the spring.”

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