HomeHorse RacingGinny's Destiny team living the dream

Ginny’s Destiny team living the dream


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When it comes to tasting success at Cheltenham this season, few people have enjoyed walking back into the hallowed winner’s enclosure at jump racing’s most iconic venue more than owners Gordon and Su Hall.

From just five runners at the world famous track, the Leicestershire-based couple have celebrated three winners thanks to the exploits of Ginny’s Destiny who will now bid to give the pair a first victory at the Cheltenham Festival when lining up in the Turners Novices’ Chase on Thursday.

As fans of the sport the pair have been Festival regulars for many years, watching some of the equine greats bring smiles to the faces of their jubilant connections with performances of the highest quality.

And having recently returned from celebrating success on the international showjumping scene in Spain, they now hope the Paul Nicholls-trained eight-year-old can give them another magical moment on his Grade One debut on Thursday.

Gordon said: “We go to Cheltenham every year to watch it, whether that be in hospitality or out with the general public in the stands. When you are going there as an owner with a horse that has been mentioned as a potential Festival winner you think to yourself, how have we got here?

“I don’t want to do this game to come second, third or fourth. I want to be at the top at whatever I’m doing.

“We were in Spain recently where our horse Fruselli under Holly Smith won the ClipMyHorse.TV Grand Prix on the CSI2* Andalucia Sunshine Tour in Spain, while the other rider that we support, Tabitha Kyle, also performed very well.

“We are always out to try and win if we can and we want the horses and the people around us that can do that.

“This is what we are all aiming for to be here on these big days, and to get that it is a payback for being patient. We’ve lost a few racing, and they are the worst days, but hopefully occasions like this can make up for it.”

Racehorse ownership is all about the journey and the one Gordon and Su, whose first horse together in training was the admirable Truckers Lodge, have enjoyed with Ginny’s Destiny is an adventure that began just months after he took his tentative first steps in the world.

Gordon added: “We got Ginny’s Destiny as a foal when he was just six months old and basically he was a big gangly boy. There were two that we got as they came as a pair. The thing that drew me to him is that he is God’s Own’s half brother. Hopefully some of his form has rubbed off on him.

“We have taken our time with him. He was with Tom Lacey for two seasons, but as we have most of our horses with Paul the decision was made that we thought he would furnish better with Paul, and that is no disrespect to Tom.

“We were aware that Ginny’s Destiny could be something for the chasing game, so expectations have been high, and he has matched them and probably surpassed them.”

After a solid season over hurdles for Tom Lacey the son of Yeats made an underwhelming first appearance over fences on his stable debut for Paul Nicholls in October at Cheltenham, but it was a performance that left Gordon unperturbed.

Gordon said: “All our horses come home to our farm during the summer and they go back to Paul’s probably a bit too heavy, but they have had a proper rest. We had a discussion before his first run, and we knew he needed it.

“Obviously you don’t want your horse coming seventh, but when Harry Cobden jumped off him he said don’t be disappointed as we will next time out as he got a big engine and how right he was.

“We were having conversations with Harry and Paul before his second start and they both said he had improved loads and it was clear that he had as he won by 10 lengths.”

It had been suggested that Ginny’s Destiny was slightly fortuitous to win on his third visit to Cheltenham when proving three quarters of a length too strong for Grey Dawning, but Gordon believes both his character and latest display dispels such a theory.

Gordon added: “When Harry got off him after his last race he said it was more or less like schooling even though he had 12 stone on his back. That is not a bad advert for where we are going next.

“I think it was after his second win at Cheltenham that I thought he could be one for the Festival. His first win was good but you are thinking could that be a flash in the pan.

“When he won his second race this season people said that Grey Dawning or Crebilly would have won if they hadn’t of faltered, but they did falter so that is irrelevant in my book. If Grey Dawning turns up it will be a good clash, but we are not scared of one horse. He seems to be one of those horses that when another horse comes to his shoulder he doesn’t have to be pushed on, he pushes on himself.”

For some in the race it will be their first time tackling the fences at Cheltenham and with that in mind Gordon, who outside of his passion for horses runs successful construction firm T J Hall Limited, believes that is another big tick in favour of Ginny’s Destiny’s chances.

Gordon said: “You can go around other tracks without the severity of that hill and look shiny and good, but unless you have been around Cheltenham it can be a big shock to the system.

“When you get going over that extended two and a half miles around Cheltenham if you hit them it will take lengths out of you, but his jumping around there has been so impressive.

“We will need a bit of luck as there will be some good horses in the race, but if we get the rub of the green and Harry gets to ride him the way he wants to ride him then I think we will be there or thereabouts.”

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Not only will plenty at Cheltenham be willing Ginny’s Destiny to glory with their betting slips in hand, but so will the regulars of three pubs close to the couple’s home in Wymeswold, including those in the village’s watering hole The Three Crowns.

Gordon added: “I think plenty of the locals will be backing Ginny’s Destiny at the Festival. I’ve had lots of phone calls asking how we are going to do and I’ve said we are hopeful. There are three pubs local to us which are The White Lion in Rempstone, The Plough in Wysall and The Three Crowns that watch the horses when they are running.

“It has generated quite a bit of interest and the local landlords like it as they get it on the television and everyone is cheering. All of those pubs have got behind Truckers Lodge throughout his career as well so they will be rooting for Ginny’s Destiny.”

Victory for Ginny’s Destiny is likely to evoke emotional scenes given both the magnitude of his success and how he came to be named, but according to Gordon it is also likely to lead to wild celebrations in the aftermath.

“Ginny’s Destiny is named after a dog we had called Ginny and a showjumper called Hearts Destiny who was set to go to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but sadly we lost them both on the same day so in a way this would be a poignant success,” said Gordon.

“However, there will be the knees up of all knees up if he wins. We do like to have a party and a few beers and if he can pull this one off then we might have to go to Waitrose for his carrots and not Asda!”

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