Horses To Follow » God’s Own
God’s Own ran much better in the Champion Chase than his finishing position in fifth place suggests.
Tom George’s horse travelled and jumped well for Paddy Brennan until they got to the fourth last fence, the final ditch, which he got all wrong. He tried to bank it and, after going into the fence disputing third place and travelling well, he came out of it eighth place and struggling to recover his position.
Moved towards the outside on the run down the hill, he travelled well again to the third last fence, jumped that well and moved into second place behind the leader and ultimate winner Special Tiara on the run around the home turn. He got the second last fence wrong as well, again he tried to bank it and suddenly he was treading water. It may have been that he was tiring anyway, he had had to do a lot of running after his mistake at the fourth last to get back into a challenging position, but that mistake at the second last was the final nail in his challenge, and he just kept on up the hill, just holding on to fifth place from the fast-finishing Traffic Fluide.
God’s Own will be of interest now if he goes to Aintree, and he will be of even greater interest if he goes to Punchestown. This was his first run since he finished third, beaten just over a length by Un De Sceaux, in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown in early December, so there is every chance that he can improve for it anyway. He is a spring horse.
He usually runs well at the Cheltenham Festival without winning (his record there now reads 245) but he often does better at Aintree (he has finished second in the Maghull Chase and won a Melling Chase in two runs at the Grand National meeting) and he does even better at Punchestown, where he is two for two. He sprang a 25/1 shock there in 2014 when he won the Ryanair Novice Chase, and he beat Vautour and Simonsig and Special Tiara there last year in the Champion Chase. He does tend to jump to his right sometimes, so Punchestown suits him well, and he seems to enjoy the spring weather and the spring ground. He is nine years old now, but this run suggests that he is as good as ever, when you allow for those two jumping errors, and he is a horse who should be worth keeping on side for a little while longer.
15th March 2017