Kempsey Cup winner Geronimo Jack, who chases a hat trick of wins on his home track of Coffs Harbour on Friday, has built an unusual and finicky fan club.
The 10-time winner of 57 races is idolised in trainer Peter Goodenough’s mothers’ local street – but only when he’s winning.
“Every time he goes around he’s got every $2 punter in mum’s street backing him,” Goodenough said.
“I’ve got to be careful though. They all come out and say `hello’ when he’s winning. When he gets beat the curtains come down pretty quickly.”
Geronimo Jack steps out in the Coffs Harbour Toyota Benchmark 70 Hcp (1415m) with regular jockey Peter Graham aboard.
Graham has a major influence on how the six-year-old gelding performs.
Earlier this campaign, Geronimo Jack’s form tapered off, a combination of pilot errors and racing up in distance against better quality opposition.
Then he struck form again, starting at Taree on October 19.
“Peter knows the horse and not only that, they get along well together,” Goodenough said.
“Geronimo Jack is a big free-wheeling horse. Peter is able to place him where he wants.”
After a fast-finishing third behind Island Dane and Rodeo Playboy over 1600m at Taree on October 19, Geronimo Jack again stormed home to win over the same trip at Taree on October 30 before taking out the Kempsey Cup on November 9.
Goodenough admits to using a few tricks on the gelding to keep him happy.
“I’ve changed his feed and exercise routine around to get his mind off the grind of training,” he said.
“You’ve got to learn new tricks to keep his mind alert.
“He’s worked well, the horse is on his feed and happy. That’s how you’ve got to have him to produce his best.
“My one concern is he’s been up for a while. He’s no different to you and me. When you keep going to the well, one day there’s no water left.
“My job is done. It’s now up to the horse and Peter (Graham).”