John Allen admits Gotta Take Care might have a few things against him in his bid for a fourth-straight Brendan Drechsler Hurdle win.
Australia’s reigning Jumper of the Year will have his first hurdle start of the season in Sunday’s Brendan Drechsler (3600m) at Bendigo after missing his first target of the year – the Galleywood Hurdle in May – because of feet issues.
Gotta Take Care confirmed his place in Sunday’s race, where he has 71kg, when he won a hurdle trial at Warrnambool by six lengths on Wednesday.
“He might be a bit behind some of the others that have had a few starts,” Allen said.
“He missed a bit of work because of his feet issues.
“He was a bit disappointing on the flat two weeks ago but he’s trialled pretty well since then and he goes well around Bendigo.
“It would be huge if he can win it again, especially now carrying that weight and over an extra 400 metres. It’s been 3200 metres in previous years but it’s 3600 this time. I think that’s possibly a bit of a disadvantage.”
Gotta Take Care has had two jumps trials in the past fortnight to get him ready for Sunday.
Allen said Gotta Take Care didn’t really like the really heavy conditions on Wednesday but was happy with the way the gelding felt and the way he finished off at Warrnambool.
Gotta Take Care holds favouritism at $4.20 ahead of Tuscan Fire ($5.50) with Fieldmaster and Zuhayr at $6.50.
Bashboy is an odds-on favourite for Sunday’s Mosstrooper Steeplechase (3600m).
Bashboy made a successful seasonal return over the jumps at Warrnambool, winning the Thackaray Steeplechase.