Undefeated three-year-old God Has Chosen has attracted state-wide attention after backing up a debut win at Albany on Boxing Day with another highly-impressive victory at his home track on Sunday.
Prepared by local trainer Neil Lee, the Playing God gelding drew the outside barrier in the 11-horse field and came from last position at the turn to gobble up his rivals in a matter of strides and score by three-quarters-of-a-length.
Speaking on TABradio’s The Sports Daily program on Wednesday, Lee said he’s been with the home-bred gelding since he was born and it’s special for his family to see his early results on the track.
“It was all up to my younger brother, Warren,” Lee said.
“He owned the mare and decided to put her to Playing God. He thought it’d be a good cross.
“Gray Williamson thought that also, he was a 20-20 rating to that stallion.
“We got a nice foal and I raised him on my property here in Albany and brought him through from day one and here he is today.”
God Has Chosen finished second in his first trial over 600 metres at Albany on October 23 last year before winning a trial heat seven weeks later and taking out his first two race starts at odds of $1.65 and $2.50.
Asked if the horse displayed above-average ability from the outset, Lee says he’s a gifted but immature type who has required some patience.
“We had him well educated last year at two,” he said.
“We were going to trial him, but he’s a big, gangly boy and looks more like a greyhound than a racehorse.
“So, we decided to leave him until he was three and try to let him fill into himself.
“He’s still having problems doing that even today, so he’ll only get better and better we feel.”
A half-brother to stablemate Vital Boom, God Has Chosen has settled rearwards before attacking the line strongly in each of his four public outings to date.
His trainer says the three-year-old’s racing style is akin to his personality.
“He’s a very laidback customer,” Lee said.
“He doesn’t show a lot of early speed anywhere, so it’s just his style and that’s the best way to ride him.
“But he’s an exceptionally good doer and he’s as tough as boot leather.
“It was a bit of a walk in the park for him, actually.”
Despite already displaying promising signs over sprint distances, however, Lee feels the gelding will be at his best over more ground in the future.
“We certainly think he’ll be better suited around the mile and probably further than that this year, let alone next year,” he said.
“We think these 1100 and 1200s are far too short for the horse.
“The thing we really like about the horse is his sectionals are very good and sectionals don’t lie on the track.
“There were only two races where they broke that 36 in the last 600 on the day and he was one of them.
“So, he has a good finish on him and that’s very important.”
Comeback apprentice jockey Jessica Gray has been aboard God Has Chosen in each of his trial and race appearances to date.
The pair have started a successful start together and the trainer says he’s happy to have her on board.
“Jess is a great girl and she’s always willing to jump on and give you a hand,” Lee said.
“We’ve had a little issue or two with the horse and she’s been right there to help us out.
“I’m very happy for her to get the rewards now.”
Currently in discussions with the galloper’s connections about finding the right path towards a race in the metropolitan area in the near future, Lee has also received a number of offers for the horse from interested parties.
At this stage, however, his new stable star will be staying right where he is.
“There has been a bit (of offering), but they haven’t got anywhere at this stage,” he said.
“It’s all about money, I suppose, but we’ll see what happens down the track.”