Sandy Thomson eyeing Cheltenham outing for Geronimo

National Hunt Chase a possibility for Ayr winner

  • Monday 21 January
  • News
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Geronimo is to be given an entry in the four-mile National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham after he showed his aptitude for a stamina test with victory in a handicap over three miles, three furlongs at Ayr on Sunday.

A return to Ayr for their big Scottish Grand National meeting could also figure for the late-maturing gelding, with the big race or a valuable novices’ handicap chase being the options.

The eight-year-old only made his debut last February and has finished in the first three in all his eight career starts so far.

Geronimo’s progress has been something of a surprise and has taken time in coming, but trainer Sandy Thomson feels that has been a blessing in disguise.

“He’s been an absolute star. I was given him because the breeder thought he was very slow and he might make a point-to-pointer,” said the Berwickshire handler.

“He’s a big, solid unit and it’s just taken him a long time to come to himself.

“He was six going on seven when we got him and he hadn’t done very much. That was probably quite good looking back, as he was such a big, backward horse.

“Very few horses will have run eight times and won or been placed in all eight.

“We’re going to give him an entry in the National Hunt Chase. Whether he goes there are not, we’ll see. He’ll probably have another run first and it would depend on how that went.

“There are plenty of options and he obviously likes Ayr. It looks like he’ll stay all day. There’s a nice £100,000 novice chase at Ayr’s Scottish National meeting and obviously the Scottish National.

“If it came up soft, that might be a more realistic. One of those two possibly, but we’ll enjoy the moment.

“He had a hard race on Sunday, but the good thing was that was quite a competitive handicap and he had to grow up a bit. There was a horse kept jumping into him all the way, so he learnt a lot and his jumping will continue to improve.

“I said before this year’s Borders National that he was one for it in the future and nothing’s changed from that view.”

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