Punchestown return already on God’s agenda

Tom George stalwart must have good ground

  • Thursday 15 November
  • News
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Tom George is keen to give God’s Own the chance to claim a third victory at the Punchestown Festival, provided conditions are suitable next spring.

After watching the 10-year-old secure Grade One victories in the 2014 Ryanair Novices’ Chase and the 2016 Boylesports Champion Chase, the Slad trainer has earmarked a fourth outing at the five-day meeting as the long-term target for his stable stalwart.

Despite his advancing years, God’s Own showed he still retains plenty of ability when making a winning seasonal return in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter – four years on from his first victory in the Grade Two contest.

George said: “He has come out of Exeter unbelievably well and is back in full work. I’ve not made any plans yet – we will just feel our way with him, because he is so ground dependent.

“It was great at Exeter for him to come back and win the race four years after the first time he won it. He has got an unbelievable amount of enthusiasm and he has shown he has still got it.”

George is therefore optimistic about a return to Ireland.

“He loves Punchestown,” he added.

“Exeter, going right-handed over two-mile-one on good ground, he loves – and Punchestown is virtually the same.

“It will be a case of trying to be in the right place where the ground is right.

“Of course, it would be great to take him to Ireland at the end of the season. But we are simply governed by the ground with him.”

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