Woody Jumps Through The Million Dollar Barrier

Gotta Take Care, known as Woody around the stable, has surpassed $1 million in earnings after the champion hurdler won a third-straight $100,000 Brendan Drechsler Hurdle (3200m) at Bendigo on Sunday.

The 20th victory of the nine-year-old’s 70-start career, it is unlikely the Darren Weir-trained son of Rubiton has had many easier.

Irish jockey John Allen, who has been aboard the gelding in all nine of his jumps wins including seven features, described Gotta Take Care after the race as ‘the best horse he’s ever ridden’.

“What can you say? He’s a marvel of a horse to come back here and win three years running,” Allen said.

“It’s a great job by the trainer and all the staff who look after him to have him in such great form three years in a row, it’s a great performance.

“He’s the best horse that I’ve ever ridden and I’m just the lucky fella that’s riding him.”

With Wells taking the early lead from Stand To Gain on his outside, Gotta Take Care relaxed beautifully in third position for Allen.

Taken to the outside of the leaders on the home turn, Gotta Take Care raced to the lead approaching the second-last obstacle before streaking away in the home straight to record a six length win over Wells, with Stand To Gain just under a length further back in third.

Despite Gotta Take Care having to carry the top weight of 69kg on the heavy track, Allen said he was always confident during the run.

“I knew the two to beat were the two horses in front of me the whole way so I was happy with where I was,” he said.

“I always knew that I’d be sitting a bit handier today, the race worked out perfectly and when I asked him for an effort at the top of the straight he took off.

“When I got to the second-last there was nothing going to catch me. The crowd are obviously very appreciative of a good horse and he’s a damn good one.”

After winning the Galleywood Hurdle and Australian Hurdle earlier in the season, ‘Woody’ will earn a $300,000 Melbourne Racing Club bonus if he can win the $200,000 Grand National Hurdle (3900m) at Sportingbet Park Sandown in July.

Courtesy of Ben Asgari – www.racingvictoria.net.au

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