27 March 2023

Martin keeping an open mind on Good Time Jonny plans

27 March 2023

Tony Martin will wait before making plans for Good Time Jonny on the back of his scintillating victory in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The eight-year-old gave the trainer a memorable success in the three-mile Grade Three event, coming from last to first under 5lb claimer Liam McKenna.

The manner of victory was all the more remarkable, as the rider had to overcome plenty of trouble in running.

“It was an absolutely brilliant ride for a lad claiming 5lb, but then Liam is a good rider,” said Martin.

“If the horse is not travelling or not jumping, or you’re not getting a clear run, there is just no point forcing them, they won’t get home.

“He didn’t have the nicest of runs through the race. The nerve to sit and the patience he showed, it reminded me of Ruby Walsh or Davy Russell.

“He was very similar to Ruby. When the race didn’t work out, he had the patience and the brilliance to sit and let the race come to him, and not chase it.”

The Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree is among the future options being pondered, along with targets closer to home.

He's good, so we will just see how we are as to where we go, whether it is Liverpool, Fairyhouse or Punchestown.

“He’s good, so we will just see how we are as to where we go, whether it is Liverpool, Fairyhouse or Punchestown,” added Martin.

“He will go one way or the other. I’ve been very happy with him. We’ll give him a week before making a plan.

“The horses tell us themselves. We can make a plan if we have enough time. We will see how the race affects him. All the options are there.

“We would like to get two more rolls at the dice before we let him off, but if we get one where he can show his true colours, it would be far better for him that he could do himself justice, rather than try to squeeze in two where we’d rush him.”

Martin admits he has had a few lean years, but a Cheltenham winner has certainly buoyed the yard.

“It’s hard,” said Martin. “We had bad times for a few years and were out of the place we were. If you are not keeping the ship sailing, you are not attracting owners.

“There are a few lads on side at the moment, a brilliant man gave me an order for two nice horses the other day.

“Any Cheltenham winner ranks high. It’s like when you are playing golf at the Masters, or soccer in the European Cup, Cheltenham is really the be-all and end-all in National Hunt racing, similar to Royal Ascot or the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on the Flat. Of course you rank it highly.”

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