Only 18 months separates TAB Melbourne Cup-winning brothers David and Jeff Geall in age, so superstar sprinter Koblenz’s victory in the world’s greatest race last Friday night was always going to be a very special family achievement.
But the fact younger brother Jeff and wife Marie were ‘officially’ part of David’s second Melbourne Cup triumph in four years – his first came in 2018 with My Redeemer – as part-owners in the ‘Geall Gals’ syndicate made it especially meaningful.
“We’re so close anyway, so I nearly got as big a thrill as Dave when My Redeemer and Up Hill Jill (Koblenz’s mother) won their G1 races,” Jeff explained.
“But for two close brothers to do it together in the most prestigious race there is, it doesn’t get any better than that.
“It’s an indescribable feeling. I’ve been on the journey with Dave right from the start. I put Up Hill Jill in the boxes for her first three starts and she won all of them!”
Jeff explained how he and Marie became involved in the ownership of the superbly-bred Koblenz, and while family ties may have opened the door to David’s remarkably successful dam-line, he earned his share the hard way.
“What happened was that Dave and Rose went overseas for six weeks and we were going to look after things while they were away,” he recalled.
“Instead of getting paid for the work, I asked if we could come into a half-share in one of ‘Jill’s’ pups. I think I might have got them in a soft moment!
WATCH: Koblenz (3) brilliantly leads all-the-way to win the G1 Melbourne Cup final, giving the Geall family a homebred celebration in the world’s greatest race.
“There were 10 pups in the litter and I was basically able to take my pick.
“There were three white and black pups, like Koblenz, and the reason I chose Koblenz was that he had a black mark on his nose that gave him a Roman nose look, even though he didn’t have one. That was the only reason!”
With Koblenz winning 26 from 39, the G2 Cranbourne Cup also prominent on his resume, he’s whetted Jeff’s appetite.
He’s since ‘purchased’ pups from Up Hill Jill’s second and third litters, to Barcia Bale and Kinloch Brae, via his unique ‘work for pups’ arrangement.
“I work part-time for Dave and get paid a retainer of 20 hours a week; any other hours I work go down as ‘pup hours’,” said Jeff.
“So I get paid for 80 hours a month but I might work up to 150 hours, so the rest go down as pup hours.
“I was able to buy Jungle Panther (Barcia Bale x Up Hill Jill) 100 per cent through pup hours.
“I’ve also bought a pup from Up Hill Jill’s third litter to Kinloch Brae, which is only eight weeks old. Our son Ben and future daughter-in-law Monika are also in the ownership. They also help out with the dogs, doing the Sunday afternoon shift.”
“Instead of getting paid for the work, I asked Dave and Rose if we could come into a half-share in one of ‘Jill’s’ pups. I think I might have got them in a soft moment!”
Koblenz’s career-defining Melbourne Cup victory was surrounded by omens and is certain to be a major talking point at any Geall family get together for many years to come.
“Koblenz drew Box 3 for the Melbourne Cup and then Monika told us that was her favourite number,” Jeff laughed.
“Then we get to Sandown on Friday and what table do they put us at – Table 3.
“After Koblenz won, I said to Ben and Monika they’ll have to get married on the 3rd and Monika said they hadn’t told us yet but they’re going to get married on the 3rd of the 3rd!
“They’re not sure whether it will be next year or 2023 but on the same day, Ben’s granddad and my dad, Peter, will either turn 91 or 92, because his birthday is March 3rd!”
With Koblenz having now banked $711,235 in prizemoney, he could more than double that tally to a record-breaking figure in the inaugural TAB Phoenix, worth $750,000 to-the-winner, at The Meadows on Saturday, December 18.
“We’ve got a slot in the Phoenix now, which we’re very grateful for,” Jeff said.
“Obviously the Phoenix is worth a lot of money, but to be a part of promoting greyhound racing and being part of the first running of the race takes it to another level.”
Dynasty continues: Jeff Geall pictured with ‘Kruze’, an eight-week old pup from Up Hill Jill’s third litter, to Kinloch Brae.
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