Tom George reports God’s Own to be in tip-top shape as the 10-year-old bids to win Exeter’s bwin.com Haldon Gold Cup for the second time.
The dual Grade One-winning chaser looks like having ground conditions to suit on Tuesday as he seeks to regain this limited handicap he lifted in 2014. He was also third in 2015.
“He’s in great form, he’s not showing his age at all at home,” said George.
“It looks like he’s going to get the ground in his favour for the first time for a long time.
“He was battling his way through heavy ground last winter which wasn’t ideal. He’ll enjoy being on a sounder surface.
“Age isn’t on his side, but his heart is. We’ve aimed him at this race and we’ll see if it goes his way.”
Ozzie The Oscar blew away the cobwebs with a good third to Silver Streak in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las last month.
His trainer Philip Hobbs has been pleased with the seven-year-old since that run and is expecting a good show.
“He ran very well in the Welsh Champion Hurdle,” said the Minehead trainer.
“It was a nice warm-up, and he’s been in good form since. I hope he’ll run very well.”
Paul Nicholls has two chances, with Diego Du Charmil and San Benedeto, as he seeks to win this race for a seventh time – while Richard Newland’s Theo completes the quintet.
Theo has his second try in Grade Two company after finishing a respectable fifth to Frodon in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree last month following two wins in lesser company at Worcester.
“I’m excited about running him,” said Newland.
“He’s come out of his last race well.
“He’s in big-boy league now, so he’s obviously getting the weight, but he’s against the best horses – so we’ll have to see how he copes with it.
“I think this trip will suit him a better than the trip he was over last time at Aintree, which he didn’t quite seem to get home on.
“I think it’s a nice race and a nice small field.
“Quick ground suits him, so we’re a bit lucky there. It’s probably caused the field to cut up. We’ll see where he is really, to see if he can compete at this level or not.”