GOTTA Take Care and Bashboy will start long odds-on favourites for Sunday’s feature jumps races at the Bendigo Jockey Club.
Gotta Take Care has opened a $1.60 favourite with TAB Sportsbet for the $100,000 Brendan Drechsler Hurdle, while Bashboy opened at $1.50 for the $100,00 Mosstrooper Steeplechase.
The biggest hurdle facing Gotta Take Care could be Bendigo’s heavy eight rated track.
Gotta Take Care is better suited on a dead track, while arguably his number one threat, Wells, thrives on wet going.
A heavy track will be of no concern to Bashboy.
The 10-year-old has won 11 races on heavy tracks, including the past two Grand National Steeplechase’s.
The star jumpers will carry the hopes of most punters for Sunday’s $10,000 on-track giveaway.
Punters who select the winners of the three jumps races plus the Winter Championship heat will win all or a share of $10,000.
To enter the competition, fill in the coupon on the back page of Saturday’s Bendigo Advertiser.
The other two legs of the competition are not quite as clear cut.
The Bendigo Mazda Maiden Hurdle has attracted a strong field.
Group One-placed stayer Moudre makes his jumps debut for Ciaron Maher, while Gai Waterhouse will start import Galiando on the back of two impressive hurdle trial wins.
Smart middle-distance galloper Starcraft is on debut over the sticks for leading trainer David Hayes.
Early markets for the Winter Championship Heat have been dominated by Tax Evader ($2.60) and Onpicalo ($2.90).
Tax Evader has won its past two starts for the Peter Moody stable, while Onpicalo has run second at its past two starts.
The only other runner in single figures is Specter ($6.50). Bendigo galloper Anudjawun is a $31 chance with TAB Sportsbet.
A Gotta Take Care victory on Sunday will also quench the thirst of on-track patrons.
If the nine-year-old wins his third-straight Brendan Drechsler Hurdle the Bendigo Jockey Club will shout the bar until the start of the following event.