It’s been a terrific few days for Tom George as his stable looks to hit top form with four wins from his last five runners.
Yesterday was the turn of Gorsky Island to hit the line first after a cool ride from stable jockey Paddy Brennan. The win brought about a double on the day for a jockey who now has 33 winners for the season. A strike rate of 15% is pretty much a given for the Irishman in recent years. His partnership with Tom George continues to flourish and the team has one of their most exciting weekend’s ahead, when new stable star God's Own runs in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.
Brennan rode Nacarat for the yard to victory in the Grade 1 Bowl Chase at Aintree in 2011, but was not on-board God's Own due to a shoulder injury, when the horse won a Grade 1 at Punchestown in May. He did get the ‘leg-up’ in November when the horse won the Haldon Gold Cup Chase at Exeter, the same race that brought an agonising defeat a year earlier aboard Module. Brennan was clearly jubilant this time round and will be hoping for further success on Saturday.
Of course the jockey is more than used to riding winners at the very highest level. When employed by Nigel Twiston-Davies, Graded victories came thick and fast. A regular pilot on Imperial Commander the duo famously got the better of Kauto Star and Denman to win the Gold Cup in 2010. But he also rode Knowhere to win an Old Roan Chase, Ollie Magern to win a Charlie Hall and Pettifour to win the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.
Before those glory years riding for Twiston-Davies he had won a World Hurdle for Howard Johnson on the wonderful Inglis Drever. Brennan knows what it takes to win big and has the temperament to cope with the added pressure of such high profile rides.
Module looked sure to be the stables leading light over the coming seasons, but the horse has failed thus far to build on his terrific win in the Game Spirit in February. Chances are that the horse is not quite going to hit the heights that many hoped he would, though his third in the Champion Chase in March was still a wonderful performance.
Currently second favourite for the Grade 1 Tingle Creek on Saturday, it’s just possible that God's Own is the horse that both Tom George and Paddy Brennan have been waiting for.