Bruce Hill has trained hundreds of horses but he struggles to think of one tougher than Bodega Negra.
The six-year-old will be lining up for his 54th race start and his 13th this season in the Open Handicap (1800m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Hill has a lot of time for Bodgea Negra although he would never put him in the class of his top horses such as Man Of His Word or Teronado.
“As for being the toughest horse I have had I don’t know, but I can’t think of one tougher off hand,” Hill said.
“But as long as there is a bit of rain about and the track is soft he is always competitive. He has won seven races and nearly $400,000 so I would love a few more like him,.
“Bodega Negra just loves being around the stable. He has basically been racing for a year with a few little breaks in between.”
Hill believes the rain which has soaked the Gold Coast this week is in Bodega Negra’s favour.
“He has won four times on soft and heavy tracks and a few of his rivals on Saturday might struggle in the softer going,” Hill said.
“I am also looking forward to getting him back out to 1800 metres. He has only been to that distance once and was a good second at Eagle Farm.
“At his next start he won the Coffs Harbour Cup at 1600. I know last start he ran last in the Brisbane Handicap behind my horse Man of His Word but they ran record-like times.”
“As honest as he is, he isn’t in Man of His Word’s class these days.”
Hill has a third share in Bodega Negra who he races with Rob Willis and Michael Buys.
Willis and Buys will have a double-barrelled assault on the race as they also have shares in the Kelly Schweida-trained L’Entrecote.
“It is his first go at the 1800 metres but he has run three seconds from four starts at the track,” Schweida said.
“He won his last start at 1600 metres after sitting four-deep the whole way so it is a good sign for a further distance.
“He is another with good soft track form.”