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Exeter: God’s Own too good in Haldon Gold Cup

God’s Own proved too good in the Grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup, getting the better of some more fancied rivals for Tom George and Paddy Brennan. The winner of the Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown when last seen in May, God’s Own was surprisingly sent off at a generous price of 8/1 to capture the 2m 1f contest but made a mockery of those odds when seeing off 4/1 chance Balder Succes by 5 lengths.


Most eyes were on the returning Cue Card in the feature race on the card but the current Gold Cup favourite was obviously in need of the run, eventually tiring on the run in and finishing fourth. God’s Own meanwhile moved to the head of the field four from home and despite making a blunder at that fence, began to pull clear before the third last.


Paddy Brennan asked for more on the run in and found a very willing partner in the 6yo. The pair stayed on strongly to the line and was never in any danger from the tiring Balder Succes. 50/1 shot Oscar Hill had made most of the running and stayed on nicely for third.


George, who had just failed with Module in the race last year, said: “It’s obviously been a big effort from a lot of people,” the trainer told Racing UK. “Paddy’s been desperate to win this race. I thought we could have won it last year, [when] Module pricked his ears a bit, but it’s all come right for us today.


“I suppose with Punchestown last season… Grade One winner… people thought that might have been a bit of a fluke but we never had any doubts about that and he’d run well before that against Balder Succes, he’s improved again over the summer and he’s obviously progressing.


“If you look at him, paddock judges might say he might be a bit burly, but he was only four kilos heavier than when he won at Punchestown and I knew that. He’s also a horse who goes well fresh, so the lads have obviously done a good job on him as he’s not an easy horse.


“He won his Grade One in Ireland on the first day of the British season so he remains eligible for novice chases and we’ll probably look at the Henry VII at Sandown or something like that now and he’ll have a break in the winter when the ground gets too soft as he prefers good ground.


“He has got a preference for going right-handed but we probably will try him left-handed although not straight away.


“He’s been very difficult, but he’s now channeling it all in the right direction.”


By Kevin Walsh / Photo: David Davies/PA Wire


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