PADDOCK BLUES: Veteran Geigeron will trial for trainer Steve Hodge at Broadmeadow today. – Picture by Jenny EvansA STABLE at Broadmeadow racecourse truly is home sweet home for the veteran Geigeron.
The 11-year old just did not take to the quiet lifestyle that came with retirement.
He has shown clearly that he prefers the hustle and bustle of a stable environment.
Geigeron had a distinguished career.
But it was decided after he finished fourth of seven at Taree in an Open over 1250metres on August 22, 2010, that his racing days were over.
Today he starts on an unexpected comeback.
He runs in the opening trial at 8.30am at Newcastle over 1200m on the course proper.
If he shows to trainer Steve Hodge that he is still up to it and wants to race then Geigeron will return to racing.
That will be a far cry from what Hodge saw when he visited Geigeron during his days of retirement.
Hodge said owners Barry and Linda Pont asked him to have a look at him because they were concerned he was not doing too well in the paddock.
‘‘He was sulking and just moping about and he was wasting away,’’ Hodge said.
‘‘It was clear he wasn’t happy so I told the Ponts I would take him back to where he was used to.’’
That meant going home to Hodge’s stables at Broadmeadow racecourse precinct.
Geigeron had lived in the same stall since he first went into work as a two-year-old.
It was from this base that he proved himself as more than just a handy performer.
From 67 starts he won 13 races and was placed another 19 times for $360,000 in prizemoney.
Hodge took him to Sydney to show his wares. He won on five occasions in 2004 and 2005.
But it was in the bush where he excelled being the country cups king of his time.
His last win was in the Inverell Cup in June 2010 – the second time he had won that race.
He also won the Moree Cup, the Denman Cup at Muswellbrook and the Spring Cup at Quirindi in 2009.
‘‘When we got him home there was no thought of him racing again but just to feed him up,’’ Hodge said.
‘‘My apprentice, Alex Stokes, came to me one day and said she was amazed how good the old horse looked.
‘‘He was having a good time so we just started to work him a bit, bringing him along slowly with a lot swimming.’’
Geigeron really has taken to his old routine.
‘‘He is loving it,’’ Hodge said.
‘‘So he is now up to the stage where he can trial.
‘‘But what happens from here is up to Geigeron.
‘‘If he shows he is keen in the trial then I will just keep him going and maybe he will race again.
‘‘I mean John McNair has Mustard still racing and he is 14.
‘‘But if at any stage Geigeron shows that racing may harm him then I will stop.
‘‘He can just hang around the stables for as long at it makes him happy.’’