WHEN Gotta Take Care broke his maiden status at Mildura in March, 2009, his part-owner Phil Wood thought he had a slow horse who had beaten some very slow horses.
On Sunday at the Bendigo Jockey Club, Gotta Take Care won his 20th race and cracked the $1million mark in prizemoney.
“It’s a credit to the horse, (trainer) Darren Weir and his staff,’’ Wood said after Sunday’s third-straight Brendan Drechsler Hurdle win.
“It’s an emotional time when you win a race like this.
“We set this horse for 12 months to come back to the Brendan Drechsler Hurdle.
“Everything else we’ve won in that time has been a bonus. He’s such a beautiful horse.”
The Brendan Drechsler Hurdle win was the nine-year-old’s ninth victory over the jumps in 19 attempts.
More than $550,000 of his $1million in earnings has come over the sticks.
Sunday’s win was never in doubt.
Jockey John Allen gave the nine-year-old a beautiful run just behind pacesetters Wells and Stand To Gain.
When Allen cruised around the leaders at the top of the straight the big crowd erupted and cheered Gotta Take Care all the way down the home straight.
Jockey and horse were given a rousing reception when they returned to the mounting yard before the crowd rushed to the bar to take advantage of the BJC’s shout.
To mark Gotta Take Care’s win the BJC offered free drinks until the start of the Mosstrooper Steeplechase.
The Mosstrooper Steeplechase was expected to be a Bashboy benefit, but the defending champion failed to finish the $100,000 feature.
Jockey Steven Pateman pulled the horse up with 1300m of the 3600m event remaining.
A post race veterinary examination of Bashboy detected an irregular heart rhythm.
Bashboy’s absence opened the way for the Darren Weir-trained Maythehorsebemagic to score an impressive six-length win over stablemate Cats Fun.
It was the nine-year-old’s sixth jumps win from 13 starts.
“He’s got springs in his legs… he’s a mighty jumper,’’ winning jockey Brad McLean said.
“Mosstrooper was an icon, so it’s great to win a race named in his honour.
“I must give credit to the Bendigo Jockey Club, the track is in perfect condition for jumping.”
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Galiando launched its jumps career in slashing style.
The imported stayer led all the way to win the Maiden Hurdle by four lengths from Moudre.
Jockey Brad McLean let Galiando run free and the six-year-old led by as many as 10 lengths.
Moudre, who was also making its jumps debut, made good ground in the final 400m.